An alternative use of horticultural crops: stressed plants as biofactories of bioactive glucosinolate and phenolic compounds
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2018 International Society for Horticultural Science. All rights reserved. Plants subjected to abiotic stresses synthesize secondary metabolites with potential application in the functional foods, dietary supplements, pharmaceutical, cosmetics and agrochemical markets. This approach can be extended to horticultural crops. Herein we summarize our work regarding the effect of different postharvest abiotic stresses on the accumulation of phenolic and glucosinolate compounds. Abiotic stresses evaluated included wounding stress, water stress, modified atmospheres, UV-light, phytohormones, glyphosate and ultrasound. The effect of these abiotic stresses on the biosynthesis of phenolic compounds has been evaluated in commercial crops such as potatoes and carrot. On the other hand, the stress-induced biosynthesis of glucosinolate has been evaluated in broccoli. The information presented herein would be useful for growers and the fresh produce market which are interested in finding alternative uses for their crops, especially for those not meeting quality standards and thus are considered as waste. Potential applications of the stressed plant tissues either as raw material for the extraction of bioactive compounds or as ingredients for the production of functional foods is described.