The increase of atmospheric CO2 due to global climate change or horticultural practices has direct and indirect effects on food crop quality. One question that needs to be asked, is whether CO2 enrichment affects the nutritional quality of Malaysian young ginger plants. Responses of total carbohydrate, fructose, glucose, sucrose, protein, soluble amino acids and antinutrients to either ambient (400 μmol/mol) and elevated (800 μmol/mol) CO2 treatments were determined in the leaf and rhizome of two ginger varieties namely Halia Bentong and Halia Bara. Increasing of CO2 level from ambient to elevated resulted in increased content of total carbohydrate, sucrose, glucose, and fructose in the leaf and rhizome of ginger varieties. Sucrose was the major sugar followed by glucose and fructose in the leaf and rhizome extract of both varieties. Elevated CO2 resulted in a reduction of total protein content in the leaf (H. Bentong: 38.0%; H. Bara: 35.4%) and rhizome (H. Bentong: 29.0%; H. Bara: 46.2%). In addition, under CO2 enrichment, the concentration of amino acids increased by approximately 14.5% and 98.9% in H. Bentong and 12.0% and 110.3% in H. Bara leaf and rhizome, respectively. The antinutrient contents (cyanide and tannin) except phytic acid were influenced significantly (P ≤ 0.05) by CO2 concentration. Leaf extract of H. Bara exposed to elevated CO2 exhibited highest content of cyanide (336.1 mg HCN/kg DW), while, highest content of tannin (27.5 g/kg DW) and phytic acid (54.1 g/kg DW) were recorded from H.Bara rhizome grown under elevated CO2. These results demonstrate that the CO2 enrichment technique could improve content of some amino acids and antinutrients of ginger as a food crop by enhancing its nutritional and health-promoting properties.
Flavonoids make up one of the most pervasive groups of plant phenolics. Due to their importance in plants and human health, it would be useful to have a better understanding of flavonoid concentration and biological activities that could indicate their potentials as therapeutic agents, and also for predicting and controlling the quality of medicinal herbs. Ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) is a famous and widely used herb, especially in Asia, that contains several interesting bioactive constituents and possesses health promoting properties. In this study, total flavonoids and some flavonoid components including quercetin, rutin, catechin, epicatechin, kaempferol and naringenin were extracted from the leaves and rhizomes of two varieties of Zingiber officinale (Halia Bentong and Halia Bara) at three different growth points (8, 12 and 16 weeks after planting), and analyzed by a high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method in order to determine the potential of the subterranean part of the young ginger. The results showed that Halia Bara had a higher content of flavonoids in the leaves and rhizomes as compared to Halia Bentong. In both varieties, the concentration of flavonoids in the leaves decreased (Halia Bentong, 42.3%; Halia Bara 36.7%), and in the rhizomes it increased (Halia Bentong 59.6%; Halia Bara 60.1%) as the growth period increased. Quercetin was abundant in both varieties. The antioxidant activity determined by the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH) assay showed high activities (65.7%) in the leaves of Halia Bara at 8 weeks after planting. Results suggested a good flavonoid content and antioxidant activity potential in ginger leaves at 8 weeks after planting. The leaves of these ginger varieties could be useful for both food flavourings and in traditional medicine.
The increase in atmospheric CO(2) concentration caused by climate change and agricultural practices is likely to affect biota by producing changes in plant growth, allocation and chemical composition. This study was conducted to evaluate the combined effect of the application of salicylic acid (SA, at two levels: 0 and 10-3 M) and CO(2) enrichment (at two levels: 400 and 800 μmol·mol-1) on the production and antioxidant activities of anthocyanin, flavonoids and isoflavonoids from two Malaysian ginger varieties, namely Halia Bentong and Halia Bara.