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The Effects of the Cultivar and Environment on the Phenolic Contents of Hazelnut Kernels

TitleThe Effects of the Cultivar and Environment on the Phenolic Contents of Hazelnut Kernels
Publication TypeArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsSolar, A., Medic A., Slatnar A., Mikulic-Petkovsek M., Botta R., Rovira M., Sarraquigne J.-P., Silva A.P., Veberič R., Stampar F., Hudina M., and Bacchetta Loretta

Different climatic conditions are known to affect the synthesis of primary and secondary metabolites. Therefore, the phenolic contents in new growing areas could affect the quality and flavor of hazelnuts. The aim of this study was to determine the variability of the phenolic contents of the kernels in different commercial hazelnut cultivars depending on their growing area. Five cultivars (‘Tonda Gentile delle Langhe’, ‘Merveille de Bollwiller’, ‘Pauetet’, ‘Tonda di Giffoni’, and ‘Barcelona’ (syn. ‘Fertile de Coutard’)) grown in different European collection orchards were included in the study. High-performance liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry was used to identify and quantify the phenolic compounds. Thirteen phenols were identified in the hazelnut kernels, including 7 flavanols, 2 hydroxybenzoic acids, 3 flavonols, and one dihydrochalcone. Catechin and procyanidin dimers were the main phenolic compounds found in the hazelnut kernels. The highest contents of catechin and total flavanols were determined in cultivars cultivated in Spain and northern Italy, and the lowest in Slovenia and France. Flavanols were the major phenolic groups independent of the place of cultivation, as they accounted for more than 50% of all phenolic compounds identified. The flavanols were followed by hydroxybenzoic acids, flavonols, and dihydrochalcones. Higher contents of flavanols and flavonols were found in kernels from areas characterized by higher natural irradiation, which stimulates their accumulation. The contents of hydroxybenzoic acids correlated with altitude, which stimulated phenolic acid synthesis. A negative correlation was observed between the dihydrochalcone content and annual rainfall, probably due to hydric stress. © 2022 by the authors.


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Citation KeySolar2022