Influence of postharvest treatments on the artemisinin content of leaves of Artemisia annua
Artemisinin, a sesquiterpene lactone endoperoxide, is isolated from the herb Artemisia annua L. and is a highly potent antimalarial compound. In order to assess the potential of A. annua it is important to use cultivars with a high artemisinin production potential and the pre- and postharvest management of this crop has to be optimised. The objective of this study was to analyse the consequences of the slow drying of A. annua plants on the field. The results of this study showed a strong increase of the artemisinin content in the leaves of 20-30% with field drying during 2 to 4 weeks. However, with a drying duration of more than 2 weeks, the leaf loss increased and decreased the total artemisinin yield. The reason for this increase in leaf artemisinin contents during field drying are still not evident.
Simonnet, X., Quennoz, M. and Carlen, C. (2016). Influence of postharvest treatments on the artemisinin content of leaves of Artemisia annua. Acta Hortic. 1125, 395-398
annual wormwood, field drying, senescing leaves, slow drying, wilting