Juglans regia (L.) is cultivated worldwide for its nutrient-rich nuts. In Italy, despite the growing demand, walnut cultivation has gone through a strong decline in recent decades, which led to Italy being among the top five net importing countries. To promote the development of local high-quality Italian walnut production, we devised a multidisciplinary project to highlight the distinctive traits of three varieties grown in the mountainous region Trentino (northeast of Italy): the heirloom ‘Bleggiana’, a second local accession called local Franquette and the French cultivar ‘Lara’, recently introduced in the local production to increase yield. The genetic characterization confirmed the uniqueness of ‘Bleggiana’ and revealed local Franquette as a newly described autochthonous variety, thus named ‘Blegette’. The metabolic profiles highlighted a valuable nutritional composition of the local varieties, richer in polyphenols and with a lower ω-6/ω-3 ratio than the commercial ‘Lara’. ‘Blegette’ obtained the highest preference scores from consumers for both the visual aspect and tasting; however, the volatile organic compound profiles did not discriminate among the characterized cultivars. The described local varieties represent an interesting reservoir of walnut genetic diversity and quality properties, which deserve future investigation on agronomically useful traits (e.g., local adaptation and water usage) for a high-quality and sustainable production.

Di Pierro, E.A.; Franceschi, P.; Endrizzi, I.; Farneti, B.; Poles, L.; Masuero, D.; Khomenko, I.; Trenti, F.; Marrano, A.; Vrhovsek, U.; Gasperi, F.; Biasioli, F.; Guella, G.; Bianco, L.; Troggio, M. (2022). Valorization of traditional Italian walnut (Juglans regia L.) production: genetic, nutritional and sensory characterization of locally grown varieties in the Trentino region. PLANTS, 11 (15): 1986. doi: 10.3390/plants11151986 handle: http://hdl.handle.net/10449/76120

Valorization of traditional Italian walnut (Juglans regia L.) production: genetic, nutritional and sensory characterization of locally grown varieties in the Trentino region

Di Pierro, Erica A.
Primo
;
Franceschi, Pietro;Endrizzi, Isabella;Farneti, Brian;Masuero, Domenico;Khomenko, Iuliia;Vrhovsek, Urska;Gasperi, Flavia;Biasioli, Franco;Bianco, Luca;Troggio, Michela
Ultimo
2022-01-01

Abstract

Juglans regia (L.) is cultivated worldwide for its nutrient-rich nuts. In Italy, despite the growing demand, walnut cultivation has gone through a strong decline in recent decades, which led to Italy being among the top five net importing countries. To promote the development of local high-quality Italian walnut production, we devised a multidisciplinary project to highlight the distinctive traits of three varieties grown in the mountainous region Trentino (northeast of Italy): the heirloom ‘Bleggiana’, a second local accession called local Franquette and the French cultivar ‘Lara’, recently introduced in the local production to increase yield. The genetic characterization confirmed the uniqueness of ‘Bleggiana’ and revealed local Franquette as a newly described autochthonous variety, thus named ‘Blegette’. The metabolic profiles highlighted a valuable nutritional composition of the local varieties, richer in polyphenols and with a lower ω-6/ω-3 ratio than the commercial ‘Lara’. ‘Blegette’ obtained the highest preference scores from consumers for both the visual aspect and tasting; however, the volatile organic compound profiles did not discriminate among the characterized cultivars. The described local varieties represent an interesting reservoir of walnut genetic diversity and quality properties, which deserve future investigation on agronomically useful traits (e.g., local adaptation and water usage) for a high-quality and sustainable production.
Persian walnut
Food quality
Varietal identification
Secondary metabolites
Essential fatty acids
Volatile organic compounds
Consumer acceptability
Settore AGR/03 - ARBORICOLTURA GENERALE E COLTIVAZIONI ARBOREE
2022
Di Pierro, E.A.; Franceschi, P.; Endrizzi, I.; Farneti, B.; Poles, L.; Masuero, D.; Khomenko, I.; Trenti, F.; Marrano, A.; Vrhovsek, U.; Gasperi, F.; Biasioli, F.; Guella, G.; Bianco, L.; Troggio, M. (2022). Valorization of traditional Italian walnut (Juglans regia L.) production: genetic, nutritional and sensory characterization of locally grown varieties in the Trentino region. PLANTS, 11 (15): 1986. doi: 10.3390/plants11151986 handle: http://hdl.handle.net/10449/76120
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