Extending the use of irradiation to preserve chemical and bioactive properties of medicinal and aromatic plants: A case study with four species submitted to electron beam uri icon


  • The authors are grateful to project PRODER nº 53514, AROMAP, for financial support of the work and E. Pereira grant, and to Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT, Portugal) for financial support to CIMO (strategic project PEst-OE/AGR/UI0690/2014). L. Barros “Compromisso para a Ciência 2008” contract and J.C.M. Barreira grant (BPD/72802/2010). The authors are also grateful to “MaisErvas - Aromáticas e Medicinais” for samples providing.
  • The effects of gamma irradiation on Aloysia citrodora, Melissa officinalis, Melittis melissophyllum and Mentha piperita were previously evaluated. Herein, the same species were treated with electron-beam irradiation (EB) and the same parameters were evaluated. Instead of presenting absolute values for each studied parameter, data were evaluated as percentage of induced variation. Besides the newly obtained results, data from a previous work was recalled and normalized in the same manner. Several examples of percentage variations specific to a plant species or irradiation condition were found. Nevertheless, it was not possible to identify unequivocal trends. Even so, when evaluated in an integrative way, the parameters with highest discriminating ability among irradiation conditions or plant species were fatty acids and bioactive indicators. Comparing the effects of gamma and EB irradiations, it might be concluded that the most suitable solution to irradiate aromatic plants would be EB, independently of the used dose.

publication date

  • January 1, 2015