Dioscoreae Rhizoma (Chinese yam; derived from the rhizome of Dioscorea opposita Thunb.) (DR), commonly consumed as a food or supplement, is often sulfur-fumigated during post-harvest handling, but it remains largely unknown if and how sulfur fumigation impacts the chemistry of DR. In this study, we report the impact of sulfur fumigation on the chemical profile of DR and then the molecular and cellular mechanisms potentially involved in the chemical variations induced by sulfur fumigation. The results show that sulfur fumigation significantly and specifically changed the small metabolites (molecular weight lower than 1000 Da) and polysaccharides of DR at both qualitative and quantitative levels. Multifaceted molecular and cellular mechanisms involving chemical transformations (e.g., acidic hydrolysis, sulfonation, and esterification) and histological damage were found to be responsible for the chemical variations in sulfur-fumigated DR (S-DR). The research outcomes provide a chemical basis for further comprehensive and in-depth safety and functional evaluations of sulfur-fumigated DR.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)