Enhancing nutritional quality of Amaranthus cruentus (L.) with fertilisers and salicylic acid

Modupe Mary Okunlola * and Sifau Adenike Adejumo

Department of Crop Protection and Environmental Biology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
Research Article
World Journal of Advanced Research and Reviews, 2024, 23(01), 030–041
Article DOI: 10.30574/wjarr.2024.23.1.1925
Publication history: 
Received on 11 May 2024; revised on 26 June 2024; accepted on 29 June 2024
Globally, deficiency of essential vitamins and minerals in major staple food crops is a great challenge to human health. The use of fertilisers and elicitors has been suggested as a sustainable approach to enhance food quality. Therefore, this study investigated the effects of compost at 5 and 10 t/ha, poultry manure at 5 and 10 t/ha, and NPK 15:15:15 fertiliser applied at rates of 50 and 100 kg N/ha, Salicylic Acid at 125 and 250 µM/L, and their combinations on the growth and food quality of Amaranthus cruentus, a globally consumed vegetable. The experiment was conducted in a screenhouse and arranged in a completely randomized design with three replicates. Data were collected on marketable yield, dry matter, chlorophyll, folate, zinc, iron, crude fibre, ash, and moisture contents. SA250+NPK50 enhanced the marketable yield by 88.0%, and SA125+NPK100 enhanced dry matter accumulation by 92.6% compared to the control. The combination of SA250+NPK50 also increased chlorophyll content by 67.0% relative to the control. Amaranthus cruentus treated with SA250+NPK50 had higher folate (285.00 µg/100g) and iron (348.00 mg/kg) contents than control (125.00 mg/kg and 138.00 mg/kg, respectively), while zinc (47.00 mg/kg) was highest in Amaranthus cruentus treated with SA250+CP10. In addition, Amaranthus cruentus treated with SA125+PM5 had significantly higher crude fibre (13.10%) and ash (12.35%) contents than the control. The combined application of 250 µM/L salicylic acid and 50 kg N/ha NPK fertiliser improved the yield and quality of Amaranthus cruentus, especially in terms of folate, iron, and zinc, which are important micronutrients for human health.
Amaranthus cruentus; Micronutrient malnutrition; Fertiliser; Salicylic acid; Food Security; Human health
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