African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6578

Full Length Research Paper

Chemical composition and antioxidant capacity in edible biomass of tagasaste (Chamaecytisus proliferus var. palmensis)

Leonardo Sulas
  • Leonardo Sulas
  • National Research Council (CNR), Institute for the Animal Production System in Mediterranean Environment (ISPAAM), Sassari, Italy.
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Simone Canu
  • Simone Canu
  • National Research Council (CNR), Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry (ICB) Sassari, Italy.
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Antonio Melchiorre Carroni
  • Antonio Melchiorre Carroni
  • Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA), Research Unit on Mediterranean Agropastoral Systems, Sanluri, Italy.
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Giovanni Antonio Re
  • Giovanni Antonio Re
  • National Research Council (CNR), Institute for the Animal Production System in Mediterranean Environment (ISPAAM), Sassari, Italy.
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Mauro Salis
  • Mauro Salis
  • Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA), Research Unit on Mediterranean Agropastoral Systems, Sanluri, Italy.
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Giovanna Piluzza
  • Giovanna Piluzza
  • National Research Council (CNR), Institute for the Animal Production System in Mediterranean Environment (ISPAAM), Sassari, Italy.
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  •  Received: 05 September 2016
  •  Accepted: 17 October 2016
  •  Published: 27 October 2016

Abstract

Tagasaste (Chamaecytisus proliferus (L. fit.) Link var. palmensis (Christ) Hansen and Sunding is a perennial fodder shrub naturalized in a range of environments for its valuable forage traits. This research was aimed at evaluating the seasonal variation in chemical composition, bioactive compounds and antioxidant properties in edible biomass components (leaves, twigs, flowers, and pods) of tagasaste grown in a Mediterranean environment of Sardinia (Italy). Season influenced the composition of edible biomass and chemical composition and antioxidant capacity of leaves and twigs. On average, crude protein concentration was 200, 97 and 66 g kg-1 dry matter, in leaves, twigs and mature pods, respectively. Neutral and acid detergent fibre were high in twigs. In late summer, antioxidant capacity of leaves reached  44 mmol/100 g dry weight of Trolox equivalent and was correlated with the levels of total phenolics and flavonoids. Research highlights that the edible biomass of tagasaste is a high quality feed source available during the most critical forage shortage for rainfed farming systems of Mediterranean climatic areas.

 

Key words: Bioactive compounds, forage quality, plant parts, polyphenols, tree lucerne.