|TAREQ, FAKIR - UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND|
|KOTHA, RAGHAVENDHAR - UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND|
|Luthria, Devanand - Dave|
Submitted to: ACS Food Science and Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/16/2020
Publication Date: 1/8/2021
Citation: Tareq, F.S., Kotha, R.R., Ferreira, J.F., Sandhu, D., Luthria, D.L. 2021. Influence of moderate-to-high salinity on the phytochemical profile of two salinity-tolerant spinach genotypes. ACS Food Science and Technology. 1 205–214. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsfoodscitech.0c00034.
Interpretive Summary: The scarcity and price of irrigation water have sparked interest in recycled water, higher in salts than freshwater. Irrigation is a must to continue feeding the arid and semiarid regions worldwide. We investigated the effects of saline water and potassium (K) availability on the phenolic profile and soluble sugars in ‘Raccoon’ and ‘Gazelle’ spinach and compared colorimetric with chromatographic assays for phenolic quantification. Principal component analysis of spectral fingerprints showed distinct clustering between samples grown in control and high salinity treatment for each genotype. Chromatographic separation and detection resulted in the identification of 13 polyphenols, four phenolic acids, and three soluble sugars. On average, a gradual decrease in total phenolic content, polyphenols, phenolic acids, and sugars was observed with increased salinity. There was a weak (or no) correlation between colorimetric and spectroscopic methods. These results are relevant to farmers and food-quality researchers to increase their knowledge of the quality of vegetables produced with saline waters as a sustainable alternative to freshwater to maintain or increase global food production.
Technical Abstract: Freshwater is a major concern in terms of meeting the growing food demand for the growing population. Recycled waters are currently seen as an alternative, but their higher salinity may impact the yield of most crops and their phytochemical content. In this study, we investigated the effects of five salinity treatments combined with two levels of potassium (K) (deficient K, T1–T5, and enough K, T6–T10) on the phenolic profiles and soluble sugars of two spinach genotypes, Raccoon and Gazelle. We also compared colorimetric assays with chromatographic assays for phenolic quantification. Principal component analysis showed significant variations in near-infrared fingerprints with salinity treatments T1–T5 or T6–T10 for each genotype. On average, the total phenolic content (TPC) [measured by the Folin–Ciocalteu (FC) assay], antioxidant capacity [determined by the ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assay], the levels of polyphenols, phenolic acids, and sugars gradually decreased with an increase in salinity. Analysis of different extracts by UHPLC-UV-HRESI-MSn resulted in the identification of 13 polyphenols, four phenolic acids, and three soluble sugars. While the correlation between the sum of polyphenols identified by HPLC and the FC assay was comparatively strong (r2 = 0.648), it was weak between HPLC and the FRAP assay (r2 = 0.357). Also, a moderate correlation (r2 = 0.534) was observed between the colorimetric FRAP assays and TPC. As the salinity influenced the leaf sugar concentrations and sugars interfere with FC and FRAP assays, caution is advised when interpreting the colorimetric assay results for phenolics quantification. These results are relevant to researchers interested in growing crops with recycled and saline waters as sustainable alternatives to freshwater for the increased demand for global food production.