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Characterization of Slovenian Apples with Respect to Their Botanical and Geographical Origin and Agricultural Production Practice

Karmen Bizjak Bat1, Rajko Vidrih2, Marijan Nečemer3, Branka Mozetič Vodopivec4, Ines Mulič1, Peter Kump3 and Nives Ogrinc5*


1Fructal d.d, Tovarniška cesta 7, SI-5270 Ajdovščina, Slovenia

2University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty, Jamnikarjeva 101, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
3Department of Low and Intermediate Energy Physics, Jožef Stefan Institute, Jamova 39, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
4University of Nova Gorica, Wine Research Centre, Vipavska 11c, SI-5270 Ajdovščina, Slovenia
5Department of Environmental Sciences, Jožef Stefan Institute, Jamova 39, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

Article history:

Received March 29, 2011
Accepted October 24, 2011

Key words:

apples, stable isotopes, total reflection X-ray fluorescence (TXRF) spectrometry, botanical origin, geographical origin, agricultural practice, Slovenia

Summary:

The objective of this preliminary study is to demonstrate that the combination of multi-element analysis, several isotopic ratios (13C/12C, 15N/14N, 18O/16O, 2H/1H) and selected chemical and physical parameters (fruit mass, antioxidant activity, content of ascorbic acid and total phenols) can be used to differentiate the varieties of Slovenian apples, the geographical location of their growth and agricultural practice. The stable isotope parameters in sugar, pulp, protein and water were shown to be the most significant variables in this regard. Botanical origin (cultivar) was found to have a major influence on the δ13C and δ15N values of proteins and the δ18O and δD values of water. Geographical regions were well separated based on the δ18O and δD values in water and the concentrations of Rb and S in fruit juice. The most significant variables to distinguish between organically and conventionally cultivated fruits were found to be 15N/14N ratio and antioxidant activity. In addition, significant differences were also observed in ascorbic acid content.

 


*Corresponding author:           nives.ogrinc@ijs.si
                                               ++386 1 5885 387
                                               ++386 1 5885 346

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