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Aim: Futility of current health care systems for nourishment is a challenge to health professionals and researchers. Moreover, the high economic load and side effects necessitates the identification of natural and cheap products for nourishment. Reflecting those points, this research was aimed to evaluate the nutritional properties of garden cress leaves along with suitable production time in Bangladesh.
Introduction: Garden cress has been used in different countries for nourishment and treatment of different types of diseases but is new to Bangladesh. Successful production practices are indispensible for meeting the economic demand. The present research work was designed to establish a suitable production time for high biomass yield and evaluation of nutritional properties of garden cress leaves for ethno-botanical uses.
Methodology: Factorial experiment with Completely Randomized Design (CRD) with three replications was used to accomplish the experiment replications in different months (July to October from 2017 to 2019). Seeds were shown in pots on 1st July, 1st August, 1st September and 1st October. Relevant data were taken at 40 days from sowing.
Results: Analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed the production parameters such as shoot height (31.43 cm), root length (6.67 cm), leaf area plant-1 (35.38), shoot fresh and dry weight (1.57 and 0.33 g) was the highest in October planting. In case of nutritional assessment, an attempt was made to establish the variation of chlorophyll, vitamin C and nitrate concentration over planting time and minerals and proximate composition over garden cress seeds. The chlorophyll (1.0 mg 100 g-1 fresh weight), vitamin C (0.93 mg 100 g-1 fresh weight) and nitrate (391.00 mg 100 g-1 fresh weight) concentration was the highest in the October planting. Mineral content, i.e. sodium (73.67 mg 100 g-1 dry weight), potassium (1821.00 mg 100 g-1 dry weight) and calcium (578.67 mg 100 g-1 dry weight) was higher in leaves than seeds, except iron concentration, though proximate composition was higher in seeds than leaves, except moisture.
Conclusions: Winter planting (October) may attain higher biomass (leaf) production and its leaves could be a fresh source of bioactive compounds, minerals and vitamins.
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