Evaluation of the nutritional profile of sweet maize after herbicide and foliar fertilizer application
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Intensive weed management is required to meet the growing demands of sweet maize production. Herbicide application is inevitable in sweet maize production, while foliar fertilizer is commonly used in cropping in order to improve crop yield and quality. The effect of nicosulfuron and mesotrione, with and without foliar fertilizer, on the content of phytochemicals (i.e. carotenoids, tocopherols and free phenolic acids) in the kernels of three sweet maize hybrids was evaluated. Herbicides applied alone mainly improved the nutritive profile of the sweet maize kernel. The application of herbicides in combination with foliar fertilizer showed a high variability in the concentration of carotenoids, tocopherols and free phenolic acids. The significant change in the content of phytochemicals was induced by the applied treatments, but it is also genotype-dependent, which was also confirmed by the Principal Component Analysis.