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Fertilization impact on fatty acid profile of chicory and chicon plants (Cichorium intybus L.)

Sinkovič, Lovro, Demšar, Lea, Žnidarčič, Dragan, Vidrih, Rajko
European journal of lipid science and technology 2015 v.117 no.10 pp. 1659-1666
Cichorium intybus, alpha-linolenic acid, chicory, cultivars, dietary recommendations, fatty acid composition, gas chromatography, hydroponics, leaves, linoleic acid, nitrogen, nutrient solutions, organic fertilizers, phosphorus, potassium, roots, sampling, Slovenia
The fatty‐acid contents of five chicory cultivars commonly produced in Slovenia (‘Treviso’, ‘Verona’, ‘Castelfranco’, and autochthonous ‘Anivip’ and ‘Monivip’) were investigated. Mineral and organic fertilisers were used to produce the leaf mass for analysis. Hydroponic forcing of developed chicory roots was performed in three nutrient solutions with nitrogen, phosphorus and/or potassium at three different concentrations. The fatty‐acid analysis with gas chromatography (GC) revealed the contents of the C 16:0, C 18:0, C 18:1, C 18:2, C 18:3 and C 20:0 fatty acids. The total fatty‐acid content of the chicory produced by conventional and organic practices ranged from 170 to 500 mg/100 g fresh weight, and of the hydroponically forced chicons, from 60 to 160 mg/100 g fresh weight. The highest fatty‐acid content for both the chicory and chicons was α‐linolenic acid (≤63%), followed by linoleic (≤45%) and palmitic (≤24%) acids. The n‐6/n‐3 ratio was <1.0 for most of the samples. Practical applications: The study contributes to the knowledge of the impact of fertilisers on fatty acids profiles in chicory and chicon plants which has not been published in scientific literature so far. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the fatty‐acid composition of five chicory cultivars (red, red‐spotted, green) produced as cultivated (organically, conventionally) chicory leaves/ heads and as forced chicons. The present analysis demonstrates that the majority of the fatty acids in chicory and chicon consist of the PUFAs, among which the main ones are α‐linolenic acid (C 18:3, n‐3) and linoleic acid (C 18:2, n‐6). The fertilizers significantly impact fatty acid formation. The chicory and chicon both have an n‐6/n‐3 ratio < 1 and they thus represent a food that follows the current nutritional recommendations. Content of α‐linolenic and linoleic fatty acids (wt. %/total fatty acids) of forced and unforced chicory