Botanical authentication of globe artichoke-containing foods: Differentiation of Cynara scolymus by a novel HRM approach uri icon


  • Cynara scolymus L., known as globe artichoke, is a medicinal plant widely used in plant food supplements (PFS) and herbal infusions due to its beneficial health properties. The high demand for artichoke-containing products can lead to adulteration practices. In this work, a real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) system coupled to high-resolution melting (HRM) analysis was proposed to differentiate C. scolymus from other Cynara species. Hence, a Cynara-specific real-time PCR assay was successfully developed with high analytical performance, achieving a sensitivity of 0.4 pg of globe artichoke DNA. HRM analysis enabled the discrimination of C. scolymus, with a high level of confidence (>98%), corroborating sequencing data. Application results to artichokecontaining PFS and mixed herbal infusions allowed confirming the presence of C. scolymus in 38% of the samples, suggesting the substitution/mislabelling of globe artichoke in 2 samples and the need for further efforts to increase DNA amplifiability of PFS.
  • The authors are grateful to the University of Lisbon and Jardim Botˆanico de Coimbra (Portugal), Real Jardin Bot´anico Juan Carlos (Spain), Seed Conservation Department of Royal Botanic Garden (UK) and Jardin des plantes et Botanique (France) for the supply of plant material. The authors acknowledge the support of the project UIDB/00690/2020, subsidised by FCT/MCTES (Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia and Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Ensino Superior) through national funds.

publication date

  • January 1, 2022