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Concept: Leaf vegetable


We show in this report that traces of juices released from salad leaves as they became damaged can significantly enhance Salmonella enterica salad leaf colonisation. Salad juices in water increased Salmonella growth by 110% over the un-supplemented control, and in host-like serum based media by more than 2400-fold over controls. In serum based media salad juices induced growth of Salmonella via provision of Fe from transferrin, and siderophore production was found to be integral to the growth induction process. Other aspects relevant to salad leaf colonisation and retention were enhanced, such as motility and biofilm formation, which increased over controls by >220% and 250% respectively; direct attachment to salad leaves increased by >350% when a salad leaf juice was present. In terms of growth and biofilm formation the endogenous salad leaf microbiota was largely unresponsive to leaf juice, suggesting that Salmonella gains a marked advantage from fluids released from salad leaf damage. Salad leaf juices also enhanced pathogen attachment to the salad bag plastic. Over 5 days refrigeration (a typical storage time for bagged salad leaves) even traces of juice within the salad bag fluids increased Salmonella growth in water by up to 280-fold over control cultures, as well as enhancing salad bag colonisation, which could be an unappreciated factor in pathogen fresh produce retention. Collectively, this study shows that exposure to salad leaf juice may contribute to the persistence of Salmonella on salad leaves, and strongly emphasizes the importance of ensuring the microbiological safety of fresh produce.

Concepts: Bacteria, Iron, Microbiology, Salmonella enterica, Salmonella, Leaf, Lettuce, Leaf vegetable


Silver nanoparticles were green synthesized with the aqueous leaf extract of the widely consumed green leafy vegetable, Rumex acetosa (sorrel) and the obtained silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) were tested for their in vitro antioxidant potential, cytotoxicity against human osteosarcoma (HOS) cell lines and antibacterial effects against sixteen human pathogenic clinical isolates. Different analytical techniques viz. UV-vis, FTIR, XRD, SEM-EDX and TEM were employed to characterize the synthesized Ag NPs. Surface Plasmon spectra for the Ag NPs with brownish black color were centered approximately at 448 nm. FTIR analysis revealed the presence of reactive N-H and O-H groups that are effective in reducing Ag(I) ions to Ag(0) which then reacted with the contents of the extract to AgCl/Ag2C2O4. From SEM and TEM analyses, the particles were found to be predominantly spherical in shape and ranged in size from 5 nm to 80 nm, but were largely in the range of 15 nm to 20 nm. Ag NPs showed considerable antioxidant activity, and all the sixteen clinical isolates of human pathogens tested were significantly inhibited. Also, HOS cell lines were significantly (p < 0.05) inhibited at 25% concentration of the Ag NPs extract, while showing a marginal revival at 50% and 100% concentrations.

Concepts: Cell, Bacteria, Concentration, Pathogen, Silver, Leaf, Leaf vegetable, Rumex


To increase understanding of the biological mechanisms underlying the association, we investigated the individual relations to cognitive decline of the primary nutrients and bioactives in green leafy vegetables, including vitamin K (phylloquinone), lutein, β-carotene, nitrate, folate, kaempferol, and α-tocopherol.

Concepts: Nutrition, Vitamin, Cognition, Vegetable, Leaf, Lettuce, Leaf vegetable, Spinach


Leafy vegetables are an essential component of a healthy diet; however, they have been associated with high-profile outbreaks causing severe illnesses. We reviewed leafy vegetable-associated outbreaks reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention between 1973 and 2012. During the study period, 606 leafy vegetable-associated outbreaks, with 20 003 associated illnesses, 1030 hospitalizations, and 19 deaths were reported. On average, leafy vegetable-associated outbreaks were larger than those attributed to other food types. The pathogens that most often caused leafy vegetable-associated outbreaks were norovirus (55% of outbreaks with confirmed aetiology), Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) (18%), and Salmonella (11%). Most outbreaks were attributed to food prepared in a restaurant or catering facility (85%). An ill food worker was implicated as the source of contamination in 31% of outbreaks. Efforts by local, state, and federal agencies to control leafy vegetable contamination and outbreaks should span from the point of harvest to the point of preparation.

Concepts: Medicine, Health, Nutrition, Escherichia coli, Enterobacteriaceae, Vegetable, Leaf, Leaf vegetable


  The pancreatic lipase inhibitory (PLI) activity of leaf extracts (aqueous, 60 and 99.8 (v/v)% EtOH) of Salacia reticulata Wight, referred to “Kothala himbutu” (KT) in Singhalese, was compared with that of KT stem extracts. Evaporated residue contents and PLI activity of each leaf extract were higher than those of each stem extract, respectively. Among the extracts, the 60% EtOH leaf extract showed the most potent PLI activity. The 60% EtOH leaf extract was separated by a Diaion HP20/water-acetone system and furthermore the most potent fraction by a Sephadex LH20/water-ethanol-acetone system. The 60% acetone fraction from the LH20/water-ethanol-acetone system had the most potent PLI activity (IC(50) value; 15 ppm). The active compounds in the active fraction of KT leaves were most likely a polyphenol, as assessed by the Folin-Ciocalteu method. Based on these spectroscopic and chemical examinations, the active fraction was shown to be proanthocyanidin oligomers composed of epigallocatechin, epicathechin, and epiafzelechin as main constituents. The degree of polymerization was estimated to be about 5 from the ratio of the peak area of the thio ethers/flavan-3-ols at 230 nm. This was consistent with the results of matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) MS, which showed the [M+Na](+) peaks corresponding to trimers-octamers. From the average molecular weight and IC(50) value of the active compounds estimated on these results, the active compounds from the KT leaf extract were one of the stronger effective lipid-lowering therapeutic agent, of which PLI activity (μM/L) was almost the same as epigallocatechin gallate. Practical Application:  Proanthocyanidin oligomers isolated from Salacia reticulata, referred to “Kothala himbutu” (KT) in Singhalese, leaves was proved to potently inhibit pancreatic lipase activity. After confirming in vivo examination, healthy foods, teas, and liquors containing the extracts of KT leaves are expected to be on market.

Concepts: Mass spectrometry, Ratio, Catechin, Lipase, Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization, Epigallocatechin gallate, Leaf vegetable, Pancreatic lipase


Overwhelming evidence indicates that diets rich in fruits and vegetables are protective against common chronic diseases, such as cancer, obesity and cardiovascular disease. Leafy green vegetables, in particular, are recognized as having substantial health-promoting activities that are attributed to the functional properties of their nutrients and non-essential chemical compounds. Spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) is widely regarded as a functional food due to its diverse nutritional composition, which includes vitamins and minerals, and to its phytochemicals and bioactives that promote health beyond basic nutrition. Spinach-derived phytochemicals and bioactives are able to (i) scavenge reactive oxygen species and prevent macromolecular oxidative damage, (ii) modulate expression and activity of genes involved in metabolism, proliferation, inflammation, and antioxidant defence, and (iii) curb food intake by inducing secretion of satiety hormones. These biological activities contribute to the anti-cancer, anti-obesity, hypoglycemic, and hypolipidemic properties of spinach. Despite these valuable attributes, spinach consumption remains low in comparison to other leafy green vegetables. This review examines the functional properties of spinach in cell culture, animals and humans with a focus on the molecular mechanisms by which spinach-derived non-essential phytochemicals and bioactives, such as glycolipids and thylakoids, impart their health benefits.

Concepts: Nutrition, Antioxidant, Oxidative stress, Oxidative phosphorylation, Vegetable, Leaf, Leaf vegetable, Leaf vegetables


Perilla frutescens Britton leaves are a commonly consumed vegetable in different Asian countries including Korea. Cancer is a major cause of human death worldwide. The aim of the current study was to investigate the inhibitory effects of ethanol extract of perilla leaf (PLE) against important characteristics of cancer cells, including unrestricted growth, resisted apoptosis, and activated metastasis, using human cancer cells.

Concepts: Immune system, Cancer, Disease, Breast cancer, Senescence, Lung cancer, Leaf vegetable, Perilla


The increased production and use of nanoparticles (NPs) has generated concerns about their impact on living organisms. In this study, nCu, bulk Cu, nCuO, bulk CuO, Cu(OH)2 (CuPRO 2005, Kocide 3000), and CuCl2 were exposed for 15 days to 10 days-old hydroponically grown lettuce (Lactuca sativa) and alfalfa (Medicago sativa). Each compound was applied at 0, 5, 10, and 20 mg L(-1). At harvest, we measured the size of the plants and determined the concentration of Cu, macro and microelements by using ICP-OES. Catalase and ascorbate peroxidase activity was also determined. Results showed that all Cu NPs/compounds reduced the root length by 49% in both plant species. All Cu NPs/compounds increased Cu, P, and S (>100%, >50%, and >20%, respectively) in alfalfa shoots and decreased P and Fe in lettuce shoot (>50% and >50%, respectively, excluding Fe in CuCl2 treatment). Biochemical assays showed reduced catalase activity in alfalfa (root and shoot) and increased ascorbate peroxidase activity in roots of both plant species. Results suggest that Cu NPs/compounds not only reduced the size of the plants but altered nutrient content and enzyme activity in both plant species.

Concepts: Enzyme, Organism, Eukaryote, Species, Plant, Annual plant, Catalase, Leaf vegetable


Five types of green leafy vegetables [“Kankun” (Ipomoea aquatica), “Mukunuwenna” (Alternanthera sessilis), “Thampala” (Amaranthus viridis), “Nivithi” (Basella alba), and “Kohila leaves” (Lasia spinosa)] were randomly collected from six different locations (Wellampitiya, Kolonnawa, Kottawa, Piliyandala, Bandaragama, and Kahathuduwa) in and around Colombo District, Sri Lanka, and subjected to analysis of three heavy metals [nickel (Ni), cadmium (Cd), and copper (Cu)] by atomic absorption spectrometry. Soils from green leafy vegetable cultivation lands and irrigated water were also tested. The average concentrations of heavy metals Ni, Cd, and Cu in soils were 51.5 ± 45.5, 1.4 ± 1.1, and 66.5 ± 59.5 mg kg(-1), respectively. The highest Ni contamination was detected in the irrigated water samples from Wellampitiya (2.02 mg L(-1)) followed by Kolonnawa (1.02 mg L(-1)) and Kahathuduwa (0.25 mg L(-1)) areas. This has exceeded the WHO/FAO guideline (0.2 mg L(-1)). However, Cd and Cu contents in all tested irrigated water samples were well below the detection limits. Significant differences were observed in Ni, Cd, and Cu levels, between both production sites and green leafy vegetables analyzed (P < 0.05). The mean concentrations (mg kg(-1), dry weight basis) of heavy metals in all green leafy vegetable samples collected from six areas varied as 0.23 ± 0.15 for Cd, 12.60 ± 9.01 for Cu, and 7.62 ± 8.41 for Ni. Maximum Ni, Cd, and Cu contaminations were found in the green leafy vegetables collected from Kolonnawa area. Among the green leafy vegetables analyzed, "Kohila leaves" have the highest tendency to accumulate Ni, Cd, and Cu from the environment.

Concepts: Iron, Vegetable, Sri Lanka, Leaf, Leaf vegetable, Leaf vegetables, Leaf protein concentrate


Post-harvest treatments of pre-packaged salad leaves potentially cause l-ascorbate loss, but the mechanisms of ascorbate degradation remain incompletely understood, especially in planta. We explored the extent and pathways of ascorbate loss in variously washed and stored salad leaves. Ascorbate was assayed by 2,6-dichlorophenolindophenol titration, and pathways were monitored by (14)C-radiolabelling followed by high-voltage electrophoresis. All leaves tested showed ascorbate loss during storage: lettuce showed the greatest percentage loss, wild rocket the least. Spinach leaves were particularly prone to losing ascorbate during washing, especially with simultaneous mechanical agitation; however, washing in the presence of hypochlorite did not significantly increase ascorbate loss. In spinach, [(14)C]oxalate was the major product of [(14)C]ascorbate degradation, suggesting that commercial washing causes oxidative stress. This study highlights that ascorbate/dehydroascorbic acid are lost via the oxidative pathway during washing and post-harvest storage of salad leaves. Thus changes to washing procedures could potentially increase the post-harvest retention of ascorbate.

Concepts: Radical, Vitamin C, Storage, Lettuce, Leaf vegetable, Spinach, Washing, Laundry