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Salicornia: evaluating the halophytic extremophile as a food and a pharmaceutical candidate

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Food insecurity is a major issue in current scenario where a large section of mankind is at risk of insufficient diet. As food productivity has its limits, the prospecting of unutilized or underutilized flora as food candidates is collectively recognized as a sustainable option. In the past decade, a number of obscure plants have been identified to be rich in dietary components and deemed fit for integration into the food platter. This review discusses a candidate Salicornia, belonging to family Amaranthaceae. This halophyte has a broad geographical distribution, and phytochemical profiling has indicated its food relevance. An array of functional nutrients as fibers, polyphenols, and flavonoids have been detected in Salicornia. Though high salt, oxalate and saponin content in the plants are anti-nutrients, they can be removed to justify usage of Salicornia as a ‘sea vegetable’. Apart from culinary relevance, medicinal attributes like immunomodulatory, lipid-lowering, antiproliferative, osteoprotective, and hypoglycemic render this lesser-known marsh plant significant for phytochemical studies. This appraisal is expected to be useful towards further research and popularization of this extremophile halophyte.

No MeSH data available.


aSalicornia in spring and summer is green and fit for consumption, bSalicornia in autumn is red and purple, with high salt concentration, is not suitable for food purpose
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Fig2: aSalicornia in spring and summer is green and fit for consumption, bSalicornia in autumn is red and purple, with high salt concentration, is not suitable for food purpose

Mentions: Salicornia, also commonly and variably known as pickleweed, glasswort, sea beans, sea asparagus, crow’s foot greens, and samphire is a halophyte, belonging to Amaranthaceae family (Singh et al. 2014). In fact, Salicornia name has originated from the Latin word meaning ‘salt’. Studies report that some species, for example Salicornia europaea show tolerance towards salinity as high as 3 % NaCl (Yamamoto et al. 2009). This fleshy plant is found at the edges of wetlands, marshes, sea shores, and mudflats (Fig. 1a), actually on most alkaline flats (Smillie 2015). It has a geographical distribution spanning 4 continents such as North America, Asia, Africa and Europe. This plant has spongy stems with diminutive scale-like leaves, inconspicuous flowers and fruits. The green plant turns orange, pink to reddish in autumn, before dying in winter (Fig. 2a, b). The common Salicornia species with their botanical names, common names and geographical distribution have been presented in Table 1.Fig. 1


Salicornia: evaluating the halophytic extremophile as a food and a pharmaceutical candidate
aSalicornia in spring and summer is green and fit for consumption, bSalicornia in autumn is red and purple, with high salt concentration, is not suitable for food purpose
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4835422&req=5

Fig2: aSalicornia in spring and summer is green and fit for consumption, bSalicornia in autumn is red and purple, with high salt concentration, is not suitable for food purpose
Mentions: Salicornia, also commonly and variably known as pickleweed, glasswort, sea beans, sea asparagus, crow’s foot greens, and samphire is a halophyte, belonging to Amaranthaceae family (Singh et al. 2014). In fact, Salicornia name has originated from the Latin word meaning ‘salt’. Studies report that some species, for example Salicornia europaea show tolerance towards salinity as high as 3 % NaCl (Yamamoto et al. 2009). This fleshy plant is found at the edges of wetlands, marshes, sea shores, and mudflats (Fig. 1a), actually on most alkaline flats (Smillie 2015). It has a geographical distribution spanning 4 continents such as North America, Asia, Africa and Europe. This plant has spongy stems with diminutive scale-like leaves, inconspicuous flowers and fruits. The green plant turns orange, pink to reddish in autumn, before dying in winter (Fig. 2a, b). The common Salicornia species with their botanical names, common names and geographical distribution have been presented in Table 1.Fig. 1

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Food insecurity is a major issue in current scenario where a large section of mankind is at risk of insufficient diet. As food productivity has its limits, the prospecting of unutilized or underutilized flora as food candidates is collectively recognized as a sustainable option. In the past decade, a number of obscure plants have been identified to be rich in dietary components and deemed fit for integration into the food platter. This review discusses a candidate Salicornia, belonging to family Amaranthaceae. This halophyte has a broad geographical distribution, and phytochemical profiling has indicated its food relevance. An array of functional nutrients as fibers, polyphenols, and flavonoids have been detected in Salicornia. Though high salt, oxalate and saponin content in the plants are anti-nutrients, they can be removed to justify usage of Salicornia as a ‘sea vegetable’. Apart from culinary relevance, medicinal attributes like immunomodulatory, lipid-lowering, antiproliferative, osteoprotective, and hypoglycemic render this lesser-known marsh plant significant for phytochemical studies. This appraisal is expected to be useful towards further research and popularization of this extremophile halophyte.

No MeSH data available.