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Production systems of sweet basil

Authors:
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2. PRODUCTION SYSTEMS OF SWEET BASIL
ELI PUTIEVSKY1 and BERTAI-AN GAI-AMBOSI'z
lAgricultural Research Organiqation, Newe Ya'ar Researcb Centre,
PO Box 90000, Hafa 31900,
Israel
2,4gricultural
Research Centre of Fialanl Karila Research Station
for Ecokgical Agriculture,
Kailantie 2A" FIN-50500 Mikkeli, Finland
MAIN ELEMENTS OF S\XiEET BASIL CULTIVATION TECHNIQUES
During the long cultivation history of basil, nurnerous experiments have been carried
out to specify the elements of basil cultivation techniques suitable for different
climatic regions Qanah 1972).
For example, in the Horticultural Abstract Literature
review during 1973-1993 more than 105 publications deal with agronomical matters:
As a result of the research and the practical efforts, there is a grcat variability in the
cultivation methods of basil around the wodd.
Ecology
Sweet basil is a tender herbaceous annual plant, which originates from tropical and
'warm areas, such as India, Africa and southern Asia. It is naturalized almost all ovet
the wodd. Basil is reported to tolerate very variable ecological circumstances. It
grows in the cool moist and tropical rain fotest zones in annual temperatures between
6 and 24"C and receiving 500-8000 mm annual precipitation @uke and Hurst 1975).
Although basil is cultivated in diffetent cLimatic and ecological conditions, the
most favourable conditiofls are found in countries with a warm climate. Warmth,
Jight and moisture are the basic ecological requirements for basil cultivation. It is
commonly known that basil is rather susceptible to frost. There are nurnerous re-
seatch results tepotted from countries with a temperate climate. These tesults indi-
rectly proved the warmth requiring characteristics of basil (H?ilve 1987b, Nykdnen
L989, Sotensen and Henriksen 1992).
Light
Basil develops best under long days in sunny conditions. In a controlled experiment
the average plant weight of Ocinun basilican var citriodora ranged between 90-98 g/pot
^t 1.5-21. hours of light. The flowering stage appeared rapidly when the plants were
exposed to 18 hours of light, and the greatestyield (102 g/pot) was obtained under
24 hours of light (Skrubis and Matkakis 1975).
Tenperature
The optimum day/nght temperature for seed germination was determined to be
24-27 /19-22oC in labotatory conditions. At these temperatures over 800/o
seed
ger-
mination was teached after four days. (Putievsky 1983) (Ftgure 2.1).
= HeniTygia;
o
u
ll.
o
q
z
9
t
z
o
u
40 E. PUTIEVSKY
AND B. GAIAMBOSI
Doys
Figure 2.1 Effect of temperature on gerrnination
of sweet
basil
@utievsky
1983).
In a growth chamber experiment the fastest growth rate was measured at a tem-
perature of 27"C, and seven harvests were obtained. At a temperature of 32oC the
numbet of harvests was only four and at 27"C five harvests were obtained @ogany
et a1.,7968).
In an Italian study sv/eet basil (O, basilicun cv. Grande verde) was grown in plain
and mountain locations at 380 m and 1050 m altitudes, respectively. In the warmer
plain conditions the fresh weight was two to three times higher than in the cooler
mountain conditions. The essential oil content of basil growrl in the mountains was
lower (0.78-1,.noA than in the plain (1.25-2A0W (\,Ienghini et a1.,1984).
Sweet basil grovrn in Scodand gave a fresh yield of 4.6-6.8kg/m'and a &y yield
of 0.5-1.0 kg/mt. These yields are comparable with yields obtained in southem
countries only in greenhouse at ^ temperature of 18"C (Hay et al., 1988),
In South Finland (60o and 61o northern latitude) Agryl P17 fiber cloth mulches
increased the fresh basil yield more than three times. Further north, at 69o latitude,
basil practically did not give any yield (Helve 1987b).
In a Danish study the additional warmth obtained by covering the soil increased
the plant establishment and the fresh yield. A 0.05 mm thick, transparent plastic
sheet with 500 holes/m2 was placed on the soil immediately after sowing. Covering
of the field increased the ftesh yield by 35-700h, and also increased the number of
sutviving plants by more than 100% (Sorensen
and Henriksen 1992).
In another Finnish experiment svreet basil of Hungarian origin was gtown in the
field and in a plastic house in Puumala, South Finland (61o,
40). The warm indoor
d
c
.9
o
C
a
o
o
conditions incr
Q'{yk?inen
19861
kg and in the P
\When a met
greenhouse
cor
corltent and th
significandy hi5
cinnamate was
Soil
Basil is cultivat
likes moderatel
best soils are t
holding caPaci
claimed soil cr
30-40 t/ha otl
In greenhot
diffetent readl
of fresh basil
such as aeroP<
ESTRAI
EUGENI
LINALC
TOTAL
Figue 2.2 I
produced
in h:
1986).
n
z
F
z
PRODUCTION SYSTEMS
OF SWEET BASIL
conditions increased the fresh yield, and doubled the volatile oil content as well
Q.{ykdnen
1986). The eugenol content of fresh basil in the open field was 67-98 mg/
kg and in the plastic house 246-259 mg/kg @igarc 2.2).
\Xlhen a methyl cinnamate chemotype of sweet basil was grown in the field and in
greenhouse conditions at day/nght temperatutes of 26-30/18-2I"C the essential
oil
content and the proportions of ar-methyl cinnamate, linalool and 1,8-cineole were
significantly higher than in field grown plants. However, the content of trans-methyl
cinnamate was higher in plants gtown indoors (lrforales et aL,7993),
Soil
Basil is cultivated in the field in diffetent types of soil rvith a pH of 4.3 to 8.2. Basil
Iikes moderately fertile or humus-rich, well drained loamy or sandy-loam soils. The
best soils are those which are in good physical condition and have a good water
holding capacity. Waterlogged lands should invariably be avoided. In Egypt, re-
claimed soil can be used for basil ptoduction by imptoving the soil quality with
30-40 tfha organrc matter.
In greenhouses basil is grown in beds or pots in different substrates,
such as peat,
different teady made mixtures or arnfiital. soils (Gtodan). Mainly for the production
of fresh basil the plants are cultivated in beds or in different hydroponic systems
such as aeroponics and nutrient film technique (Davide and Steward 1986) or using
ESTRAGOL
EUGENOL
LINALOOL
TOTAL
0 200 400 600 800
mg/kg of fresh herb
Figxe 2.2 Effect of cultivation in open field vs. under cover on aroma compounds from basil
produced in Puumala. lX/hite column indicates open field and stdped column undet cover (rlyk?inen
1986).
4\
II
-.1
I
I
-t
-.1
-l
I
JI
I
I
a,
I
jI
JI
I
-{I
II
t3
ilain
:mef
roler
tem-
I the
gatrry
was
lteld
1em
ches
ude,
ned
rstic
fing
rof
the
.oof
U
lr
o
o
z
I
E
o
z
o
u
E. PUTIEVSKYAND B. GAIIMBOSI
deep flow technique. The composition of the nutrient solution suitable for basil is
recendy studied Q,ee et al., 1993, Takano and Yamamoto 1996).
IYater
Basil tequires a continuous watet supply and it is intolerant to water sftess at all
stages of development. In countries with a warm climate irrigation is an absolute
precondition of basil cultivation and irrigation systeris are an integratedpan of the
whole production system. The results of a detailed greenhouse experiment showed
that the leaf area and the leaf dry weight were significandy decreased when the plants
were subjected to even mild water stress.
Mild and modetate water stress (irrigation
once every 48 and 72 hours) tesulted n a 22oh and 47o/o
decrease in leaf dry weight
and75-23o/o decrease in the leaf atea. At the same time, the mild and moderate water
stress incteased the essential oil content by 87 and 10070, respectively. Although
these results suggest
the possibility of increasing the oil content by moderate water
stress,
it is not easily performed in open field cultivation (Simon et a/.,7992).
Cultivars
Many basil cultivars are offered by seed companies, but populations arising from
seeds are not necessarily genetically uniform. The genus Ociruum is chancterized by a
greatvaiabltry in both morphology and chemical composition. The ease
with which
cross-pollination appears leads to a latge number of species, subspecies,
varieties,
and fotms. Basil cultivars marketed as seeds are often named according to morpho-
logicat characteristics or aroma. Thete are many tlpes of basil preserved locally by
fatmercf growets, mainly in developing countfies. For example in India there are
many cultivats which forms the basis for commercial selection (Paton and Putievslry
1e96).
For fresh basil production and for garden cultivation many different cultivars are
offered. Selected cultivars from seeds
include:
cultivars with
linalool and eu
For industri
tion is perfom
chemicals
are
tures, which aJ
have
to be det
1996,Paton
an
Propagation
Sweet
basil
is
special
plant
ot
is not economi
generally
blacl
germination
oi
mum daylnigh
In field condit
after 4J days
or by taising
t
Sowing and trr
of night ftost.
Direct
mwing
For direct so'
distance
is 3O
Central EuroP
content
of the
be rvell tilled ,
compacted
by
for basil sowir
Tranrpkntation
In &y areas,
zofles
among
tion method.
the temperate
seed
is requir
finished in al
topping wher
seedlings
ate
cm high with
The seedli
from the sun
vegetable
trar
Sweet basil:
Pwple basil: Sweet, Genovese, Latgeleaf, Letnrce kaf, Mammoth
Dark Opal, Purple Ruffles, Red Rubin, Osmin
Cultivars with different
ftagrances: Lemon scented, Cinnamon, Anise, Licorice, Camphor,
Spicy bush
During the last years ^n increasing number of studies have dealt with the morpho-
logical and chemotaxonomical features of basil varieties available on the seed market
(Simon and Reiss-Bubenheim 1987,
Morales et aL,1993b, Grayer et al.,7996,Paton
and Putievsky 1996). In Finland 17 different seed batches were examined. All of
them were called sweet basil, but a grcat variation was found in the morphological
characteristics as well as in their chemical composition (Galambosi 1995).
A sirnilar
variability w-as found when 10 Italian commercially available basil cultivars were
examined. The chemical analyses of the varieties showed correlations with the
morphological characters. Two cultivars with violet leaves
were linalool chemotypes,
three of those with large leaves
were linalool and methylchavicol chemotypes. Three
s
l""t
VT
z
E
:fr
t\
table for basil is
ater stress
at all
n is an absolute
:ated
part of the
eriment showed
when the plants
stress (irngation
r leaf dry weight
moderate
water
tively. Although
modetate water
a|,7992).
rns arising from
nracternedby a
ease
vrith which
pecies,
varieties,
ling to morpho-
erved locally by
India there are
n and Putievsky
ent cultivars are
f, Mammoth
)smin
rrice, Camphor,
ith the morpho-
the seed
market
al., 1996,
Paton
camined.
All of
:morphological
1995).
A similar
. cultivars were
rtions with the
rol chemotypes,
motypes.
Three
PRODUCTION SYSTEMS OF S\rEET BASIL
cultivars with medium sized and two cultivars with small leaves belonged to the
linalool and eugenol chemotype (Marotti et a1.,1996).
For industrial production mainly sweet basil types are used, and the seed
produc-
tion is performed in controlled circumstances. In essential oil-containing plants the
chemicals are sometimes more important characteristics than morphological fea-
tures, which a)one are inadequate to describe the taxon. Therefore the chemotype
have to be determined before the plant is used for industrial purposes (Gnyer et al.,
1996, Paton and Putievsky 1996).
Propagation
Srveet basil is generally propagated by seeds. For selection and presetvation of a
special plant or cultivar, stem cuttifig propagation can be used, although this method
is not economical for commercial purposes. The ripe, fi.rlly
matute seeds of basil are
generally black or dark brown. The weight of thousand seeds is 1.2-1.8 g. The
germination of ripe basil seeds is generally rapid. In laboratory conditions at opti-
mum day/night temperature over 80% germination took four days @utievsky 1983).
In field conditions the emergence occured after 7-14 days in Central Ewope and
after 4-7 days in India. The crop can be established by ditect sowing into the field
or by raising the seedLings
in a nursery and then ransplanting them into the field.
Sowing and transplanting takes place in the eady srunmer when there is no danget
of night frost.
Direct sowing
For direct sowing generally 2-6kg/ha of high quality seeds are used. The row
distance is 3G-50 cm, depending on the weed control system. The sowing time in
Central Europe is during the second half of April. During this period the moisture
content of the soil is favourable for a good start of the growth. The seedbed should
be well tilled and even. The depth of sowing is 0,5-1 cm, and therefore the soil is
compacted by rolling prior to and aftet the sowing. Different seeders are suitable
for basil sowing, the best are the vegetable seeders.
Transplantation
In dry areas, Iike India and Eglpt, or for fresh matket production in the temperate
zones among the smaller growers tansplantation of seedlings is the usual propaga-
tion method. The seedlings are grown in open-field nurseries or in plastic tunnels in
the temperate zones. Seeds are placed in rows (10-15 cm rov/-spacing), 0.1-0.5 kg
seed is required for one hectare. Germination starts 3 days after sowing and is
finished in about 10 days. Lateral branching and growth may be encouraged by
topping when the plants are about 1.2
cm high. Regular irrigation is necessary. The
seedlings arc ready for transplantaing after 4-6 weeks. At that stage
they arc 10-1.5
cm high with 4-6 pairs of leaves.
The seedlings ready for planting are removed from the mrsery and protected
from the sun and desiccation. Ttansplantating is carried out manually or by using
vegetable ransplantets. Due to the intensive gowth the tecommended spacing for
z
o
u
|r
o
n
z
9
tr
o
z
o
SeedlingSinwarmerareasis40-60cm,withap|antd^istance"rzo-+o.-.I"c."o
Eutope the spacing
is a little bit smaller, row spacing
of 40-50 cm, with 25-30 cm
plant distance
(Wijesekera
1986,
Hornok 1992).
Population
densitl
The optimum population density
is pardy dependent
on the final use of the culti-
vated basil plants. A high density can be used if cornpatible farm equipment is
available fot mechanical
cultivation and harvesting. Rows 30-90 cm apart with plants
spaced every 2540 cm are commonly used.
\ff4een
planning the population
density
and the biomass production the grower
has to take into consideration the nutdent
availability for the individuals in the plantation. The competition between individuals
in a population with a low nutritional supply was found to be intensive and the
plants developed
more roots than the individuals in a population
with a high nutri-
tional level (A4orris
and
Myerscough 1991).
According
to experiences from Israel
the
optimum plant density for oil and dry herb production in field conditions is about
15-17
plants
/m2 and for fresh
plant production about 8-74 plants/m2.
Nutrient Supply
An impotant factor affecting the quantity and quality of the harvested basil yield is
to find the optimum level of fertiltzanon. Fertilization experiments carried out with
sweet basil focused
on the determination of the quantity and the optimum ratio of
the main mineral elements. Additionally the nitrogen side dressing
was studied in
connection
with frequent
harvests.
Special attention
was paid to the effects of fertil-
izaion ofl the content and composition
of the essential oil. The level
and the amount
of. fenitzaion natxilly depends on the soil, but most papers
do not give frrll details
regarding the composition of the soil.
Basil tesponds
well to moderate fertjhzaion.
This could be seen in some
fetj\za-
tion expedments, vrhich were carried out in a temperate climate,
where the growing
season is quite short (April/May-September).
This means
that the fertilizers are
applied during a short time period. In a German study the optimum herb yield of
basil was reached
by using a compound fetllizer of NPK = 704-12-73
kg/ha.
Dividing the total fertihzet application into basic feti\zaion and top-dressing
gave
the best results
SVeichman
1948).
In a three-year
experiment (1973-1975)
carried out in Poznan,
Poland, increasing
N-doses (0-200 kg/ha) increased
the total dry herb yield significantly.
Without N-
fenJJtzaion,
atP-60 andK-720kg/ha level the herb yield was
2.27
t/ha.200kg/ha
nitrogen increased
the yield by 44%.
Higher phosphorus
and potassium doses,
80
and 160 kg/ha respectively,
did not increase the basil yield significantly
(Czabajski,
1e78).
Similat results
were achieved in a Hungarian
study. On a sandy soil of low humus
and nutrient content, the best fresh and dry herb yield (40 t/ha and 7.3 t/ha,
respectively) from two harvests
wete achieved
with medium doses of NPK elements
(120-100-100
kglha). The essential oil yield was highest (05 kg/ha) at this fenil-
ization level as well. No beneficial effects of higher doses were found. Increasing
flWahab
and Hon
In a coolet clil
proved to be rad
was one of the :
ported by Hiilvii
cation of NPK 4
dressing
80 kglh
2.3). Additionalll
susceptibility
to I
heavier fertilized
mental years (Hi
Due to the lol
warmer climate r
this case
the higt
&essing after tht
ent forms of N.
In a geenhor
nitrogen forms (
of sweet
basil.
A
but the leaf &y
essential
oil con
comPonents in I
A YIfu
tYIELD ({lttd
ilRl 1
ll/lm'
0,?
Figure 2.3 Rer
1987).
o
U
lr
o
a
z
I
I
z
o
u
_a=,-
PRODUCTION SYSTEMS OF SWEET BASIL
N-doses gave a considerable rise both in the fresh and dry yield of sweet basil
(X/ahab and Hornok 1981).
In a cooler climate the optimum feffilizer application in respect to the herb yield
proved to be rather low compated to the amounts used in warmer countries. This
was one of the results of feni\zatton experiments made in southern Finland, re-
poted by Hiilvii and Puukka (1987).
The optimum basic fertilization was the appli-
cation of NPK 40-1G68 kg/ha.In addition basil received a benefit from the N-top
&essing B0 kg/ha, Due to thJcold weather, the fresh yields were quite low Frg*.
2.3). Additionally, in cool and moist conditions the N-top dressing increased the
susceptibility to fungus-diseases (Plthiun sp., Fasarium sp., Sclerotinia sclerotioran). The
heavier fertilized the crop-stand, the more infected plants there were in both experi-
mental years (Hzilvzi
1987).
Due to the longer growing season and the accelerated growth in countries with a
warmet climate about 3-5 sequent harvests of basil can be obtained each yeat. In
this case the higher phytomass requires a higher nutrient supply and an additional N-
dressing aftet the harvests are important in otder to enhance the gowth. The differ-
eflt foms of N-dressings may affect the plant growth in different ways.
In a gteenhouse pot experiment at Purdue Universiry USA, the effect of two
nitrogen forms Q.{O3
and NH) were studied on the growth and essential
oil content
of sweet basil. Ammonium nitrogen decreased the plant height and stem dry weight,
but the leaf dry weight was not affected. Ammonium nitrogen also decreased the
essential oil content by 28% and relatively increased the amount of sesquiterpene
components in the oil (Adler et a1.,1989).
45
10 cm.
In Central
r,
with 25-30
cm
use of the culti-
:m equipment is
apart with plants
rpulation density
tion the nutrient
:ween
individuals
ntensive and the
,'ith a high nutd-
:s
from Israel the
nditions is about
/m2.
sted
basil
yield
is
carried
out with
rptimum
ratio of
I was
studied in
effects
of fertil-
and the amount
t give firll details
n some fqi.filiza_
rere
the growing
re fertilizers are
Lrn
herb
yield
of
t4-12-73
kq/lr .
lp-dressing
gave
lland,
increasing
rdy.
Without N-
t/ha.200kg/ha
ssium
doses,
80
mtly (Czabajski,
il of low humus
a and 7.3
tfha,
iNPK elements
ra)
at this fertil-
und. Increasing
A YIELD
IYIELD (tittd crv.)
YrR!r
lt/10h1
A YIELD
zYI&D (fittd curv.)
na.!,
h/th.
.2 ,t .t .3 t,2 r.t t.6 t.l
g
h/rF
Figure 2.3
1e87). Response of basil yield to N-fertilization n 1984 (a) and 1985
(b) (H?ilv?i
and Puukka
l
o
z
F
z
46 E. PUTIEVSKY AND B. GAIIMBOSI
The results of another fetti\zatton study in Italy confirmed the above mentioned
Polish, Hungatian and American experiences. According to the results of Tesi et aL
(1995), "Genovese" sweet basil, grown in greenhouse seemed to be sensitive to high
concenffations of fertilizers in the irrigation water. At 500 kg/ha N doses the leaf
area decreased 42oh, compared to a N dose of 100 kg/ha. The application of differ-
ent ratios of N, P2Ou, and KzO shovred that a rano of 7:1:2 gave the best growth
result. Further it was shown that complete fertilization is better than only nitrogen
fertjfuzanon Qable 2.7). Useful tesults of these experiments for the fresh herb prc-
ducers are that slow release fettilizers (ammonium sulphate and sulphonitrate) gave
an important reduction in the nitrate content of the fresh plants (more rhan 50oQ.
This was not seen when using calcium ritrate. Hdlvd and Puukka (1987) reported
that using calcium nitrate as N-top dressing, 160kg/ha N-fertilization increased the
nitate content of the fresh herb 15 times.
The practical fertjitzaion advice for basil found in different herb cultivation manuals
is based partly on the above mentioned research results, and pardy on local soil
types, the cropping history and the production systems existing in each country. For
example accotding to Hornok (1992) the Hungarian fer :lization advice includes
three applications of fettilizers: basic fertilization in the autumn N = 40-60 kg/ha,
P = 60-80 kg/ha andK = 120-1.40 kg/ha are recommended. Start of the fertilization
in the spring at the time of soil preparation with N = 40-60 kg/ha and P = 18-20
kg/ha. Foliar N-fertihzaion is applied after the foliage cuttings, in doses of 60-70
kg/h".
In the United States the suggested
ratio of N-PrOu-FlrO elements is 1:1:1, with a
N-dose of 230-300 kg/h^, as broadcasts and plowdown. Nitrogen side-dtessing at
rates of 50-75kg/ha are recommended after each harvest (Simon 1995).
In India, in the practical cultivation, NPK = 20-4V40 kg/ha basic fertilization is
recommended before the soil pteparation. 40kg/ha nitrogen fertjhzanon is applied
as top dressing in two equal doses (Sdvastava
1980).
In Eglpt 3540 t/ha organic manure and 35 kg/haP are applied as basic feri\za-
tion. As top dressing, 35kg/ha nitrogen is applied two times, four and seven weeks
after transplantating.In addition 35kg/ha N is applied aftet each harvest (Shalaby
1996).
Tabre 2-7 Gtowth or sweet t"rr:.Xil:t E:,\J:;W doses or a 20-20-20
complete
Fertiliqer Dose Nitrogen Sappliet
C/l kg/ha Plant Heigbl
cm Fruh lVeigbt l-tawr Area
g/plant m2/plant
High doses
of fe
vation of basil in
Phosphorus (PrO5)
50 kg/ha, respectir
before sowing and
Basker
1977).
Weeding
The presence
ofw
final product. Ther
systems.
The weed
first harvest,
latel
The weed control i
are suitable for bal
From Istael tht
ported in experim
doses (Putievsky
a
kg/ha) or Neburot
for post-emergenc
dose of 2.5kglha
Preplant applicr
two weeks,
but w
oleracea
(Ricotta an
Only experime:
post-emergence
h
days after the tra
ingtedient/ha Prc
rveeds. The effect
sprayed in a dost
essential
oil conte
the different wee<
In many count
Therefore vreedin
tant. There are di
cide free cultivatir
by hand hoeing. \
with larger row d
Organic mulct
mulch has becon
European counit
effect and the sPt
increased the fte
which increased
t
In another study
higher fresh yiel
100
200
350
500
0
1.
z
3.5
0.46
c
2.90 a
2.70
a
2.50
a
1.90
b
6.1
d
13.8
b
15.4 a
13.6 b
10.3 c
20c
120 a
111 a
96a
70b
Mean separation within columns by SNK test at p = 0.05.
LJ
&
*
t
i:
f:l
;:
ii
PRODUCTION SYSTEMS OF S\ilEET BASIL
: above
mentioned
esults
of Tesi et al.
,e
sensitive
to high
L
N doses the leaf
plication of differ-
e the best growth
han only nitrogen
re fresh herb pro-
ulphonitrate) gave
(more than 50%).
:a (1987)
reported
.tion increased
the
:ultivation manuals
rrdy on local soil
each
country. For
n advice includes
{ = 40-60 kg/ha,
of the fertilization
:^aandP=18-20
n doses
of 60-70
nts
is 1:1:1,
with a
n side-dressing
at
L 1995).
rsic fertilization is
Itzanon is appJied
las basic
fenltza-
and seven
weeks
harvest (Shalaby
-20-20 complete
Ltatns
Area
cn2/plant
20c
120
a
1,11,
a
96a
70b
PRODUCTION SYSTEMS OF S\ilEET
BASIL 47
High doses of fertilizets are applied combined with regular ittigation in the culti-
vation of basil in Israel. The tatio of the main mineral element is about 2:1:1.
Phosphorus (PrO) and potassium (&O) are applied in doses of 100 kg/ha and
5}kg/ha, respectively, and an ammonium nitrate fertrhzer is applied immediately
before sowing and after each harvest, 250 kg/ha on each occasion @utievsky and
Basker 1971.
Weeding
The presence of weeds among fresh ot dry basil leaves decreases the quality of the
final product. Therefore weed control is an important pafi of the basil production
systems.
The weed problem in high density field populations exists mainly until the
first harvest, later the plants cover the field and suppress the growth of the weeds.
The weed conttol is generaliy carded out mechanically, since relatively few herbicides
are suitable for basil cultivation.
From Israel the pre-emergence application of 60oh Neburon herbicide was re-
ported in experimental cultivation. It was sprayed prior to germination at 2kg/ha
doses @utievsky and Basker 1977). Ptesendy in ptactical cultivation Diphenamid (2
kg/ha) or Neburon (1..2kg/ha) are used for pre-emergence
application and Neburon
for post-emetgence/postharvest application. In Israel Ozadiazon can be used at a
dose of 2.5 kg/ha for transplanted basil plants.
Preplant applications of 2.2kg/ha Napropamide provided weed control only for
two weeks, but was subsequently ineffective against heaqr infestations of Porta/aca
oleracea
@icotta and Masiunas 1991).
Only experimental results are avatlable
in Egypt for Terbacil and Bentazone as
post-emergence herbicides in sweet basil culture. The preparations were spread 20
days after the transplantating of the seedlings. Terbacil applied ^t 0.96 kg active
ingredient,/ha provided satisfactory weed control for both annual and perennial
weeds. The effect approximated that of manual weeding. At the same
time Bentazone
sprayed in a dose of 0.84 kg/ha was less effective. No significant differences in
essential oil content or composition of sweet basil were observed when comparing
the different weed control treatments @,I-Masry et a/., 1995).
In many counfties basil sold for consumption must be grown without herbicides.
Therefore weeding of basil in organic cultivation is becoming more and more impor-
tant. There are different ways to keep the plantations ftee from weeds in the herbi-
cide free cultivation. Generally weeding of smaller fields is carried out manually, i.e.
by hand hoeing. \X/eeding can be done by machines in a high density plant population
with larger row distances and low distances between the plants.
Organic mulches are suitable for weed control only in smaller areas. Black plastic
mulch has become quite a popular choice for weed control, especially in the noth
European countries. The plastic mulch provides a good weed growth inhibiting
effect and the spreading of the plastic mulch can be mechanised. Black plastic mulch
increased the fresh and dry yield of basil, due to the incorporation of sun energy
which increased the soil temperature under the mulch @icotta and Masiunas 1991).
In another study plants transplanted into two rows/raised bed produced significantly
higher fresh yield in double rows (3854 g/m) than in single rows (2501 g/m'z)
i|r
/o
ItA
tz
t;-
lr
IE
lz o
E. PUTIEVSKYAND
B. GAIAMBOSI
(Iable 2.2). The use of mulched raised beds seemed suitable for the production of
fresh basil, since the harvested yield was cleaner than the yield obtained from cul-
tures without plastic mulch. The production cost fot this type of culture is higher
than for a notmal field production and it teflects on the ptice of the final product
(Davis 1993).
Irrigation
Basil needs a sufficient water supply during almost all stales of development. In a
study where the effect of the water supply was studied on the seed yield of basil, it
was stated that the average seed yield from irrigated plots was 993 kg/ha compared
to 251 kg/ha from dry plots (Cuocolo and Duranti 1982).
The irrigation possibilities, faciJities
and methods determine the field cultivation
systems and the size of the beds irrigated. Canal, flooding and sprinkle irrigation
systems are used. In warm countries regular irrigation is carried out at 7-10 days
intervals. For example in Israel 350 m3
/ha water is used with 10 days intervals if the
field is irrigated by sprinklers. The irdgation intervals are 5 days shorter if the field is
irrigated by a drop system.
Irrigation is especially important in the plant nurseries, immediatelly after the
transplantating and during the plant emergence after direct sowing. In Egypt flood
irrigation is abundant in the Nile valley lands. In India, at the onset of the rain season
the rains meet the water requirements of the crop fully until September. After that
irrigation may be required once or twice a month (Srivastava 1980). In temperate
zorres, the distribution of natural nsnfall is generally enough during the spring and
autumn, but longer dry summer periods without arificial irrigation may cause sig-
nificant yield losts.
Tabre 2.2 Effects of in-row
*"Til"r1fiH:f,J"fi;1.r bed on
fresh leaf yields
of sweet
(yreld, g/m of Bed)1
232.5 21,5.4 171.5
357.9 308.2 260.9
297.7 259.3 237.3
324.5 228.6 309.6
421.9 383.5 316.0
317.4 264.2 217.7
468.3 499.8 458.4
482.5 315.3 295.7
346.8 353.9 302.0
(yield, g/m of Bed)l
43.2 162.7 250.3 1.*
66.0 264,3 353.7 {<*
231,.5 298.0 *
229.0 346j. **
318.1 429.4 **
69.4 239.5 293.4 ns
441.3 509.7 ns
124.1 302.9 426.1, {.
311,.9 356.6 ns
-tr> ---- -
Plant Protection
Puts
Compared to othet
basil plant. Cultiva
much data on the
pratensis
L.) are rep
Pests occur mo
have been rePortc
reduction in the p
nematicides (aldicz
most common nen
nematode (Dolicho
parasitic nematodt
The latvae of s
the underside
of tl
The infected leavt
and some lace bt
different basil spe
damage, spraying
Diseaw
Numerous papert
basil cultivations.
niques, mainly in
irigated.In the r
mon soil pathoger
(1980) the follow
leaf blight and bz
Blight of basi
appearance
ofth,
mended to spray
Leaf blight is r
similar to those c
Basil wilt is t
stages
of gowth
leaves
and the sl
plant, which fin
Russia Qzidzat:
Italy (famietti ar
1993).
Fot prev
solution of som
In Russia,
meth'
getmplasms in
resistant
varietit
IVuk of
Harwst In-row Spacing
(tn)
15 23 31 F-test l-SD 5Vo Rows
per Bed
1 2 F-tett
1,
2
/
5
6
7
8
9
ns
11S
ns
ns
ns
3249.4 2828.2 2569.0 355,4 2501.2 3263.2 {.+
t Yield in g ftesh weight per meter of row length; means of 3 replicates; **, * and ns = significant at
P < 0.01, 0.05, or nonsignificant, respectively.
II
tn
i:
re production of
tained from cul-
culture is higher
he final product
velopment. In a
yield of basil, it
kg/ha compared
field cultivation
rrinkle irrigation
rut at 7-10 days
's intervals if the
:ter if the field is
liatelly after the
In Egypt flood
f the rain season
nber. After that
)). In temperate
4
the spring and
r may cause sig-
af yields
of sweet
tws
per Bed
2 F-nst
g/m of Bed)l
250.3 **
353.7 **
293.4
ns
426.1,
ns
3263.2 *<*
PRODUCTION SYSTEMS
OF SWEET BASIL
Plant Protection
Pests
Compared to other horticultural crops, only a few pests and diseases attack the sweet
basil plant. Cultivation manuals from countries in the temperate zone do not offer
much data on the pests of sweet basil. Observations of the common bug (l=lgus
pratensis
L.) are reported on sesdlings after the transplantating (Heeger 1956).
Pests occur more frequently in warmer climates. Heaqr infections of Nematodu
have been reported from Egypt, India and Florida, USA. The infection causes a
reduction in the plant growth and oil yield. In addition to crop rotation, different
nematicides (aldicarb, carbofutan, bavistin) or oilseed cakes can be used against the
most common nematode (Meloidogne incognita) (Haseeb
et a/.,1988). The phytoparasitic
nematode (Dolichodorus
heterocepltalus) significandy reduced the populations of plant
parasitic nematodes in common basil cultute fi.hoades 1988).
The larvae of some pests may cause serious damage to the plants by sticking to
the underside of the leaves, folding them from midrid lengthwise and webbing them.
The infected leaves finally fall off. Ocimum leaf folder (Slngania abraptalis Walker)
and some lace bugs (ALonanthia
globuffira Walker) have been teported as pests of
different basil species
in Thailand (Tigvattnanont 1989, 1990). In the cdse of setious
damage, sprayrng of insecticides is necessary.
Disearcs
Numerous papers report about the presence and damages of different diseases in
basil cultivations. The control of diseases
is a common oart of the cultivation tech-
niques, mainly in countties with a warm climate, where ihe plantations are regulady
irdgated. In the nurseries the seedlings sometimes have to be ptotected from com-
mon soil pathogenes, hke Plthiun, Alternaria and Rlrysoctonia
sp. According to Srivastava
(1980) the following diseases are well-knovrn in basil fields in India: blight of basil,
leaf blight and basil wilt.
Blight of basil is caused by Alternaria sp. The disease stats with a chlorotic
appearance of the leaves
which turn purple and finally black. For control it is recom-
mended to spray the crop with 0.2oh Dithane M-45, one to three times.
Leaf blight is caused by Colletotrichum
capsici
(Sy.)
Buder et Bisby. The symptomes are
similar to those of blight. Older leaves ^ppeat to be more susceptible to infection.
Basil wilt is caused by Fusarian oxlsporum. This disease affects the plant at all
stages of grorr/th, particiady in the rain season. It appears initially by wilting of the
leaves and the shoot tips on ofle or two branches, but is soon spread to the whole
plant, which finally dies. Occurrence of Fusarium has been reported in India and
Russia pzidzariya and Diorbelidze 1974), in France (X{ercier and Pionnat 1982),in
Italy (Iamietti and Matta 1989) and in the USA (Wick and Haviland 1992,Davis et a/,,
1993). For prevention of Fusariun infection the seedlings should be dipped in a
solution of some effective fungicide, such as Tafasol or Agalol, before transplanting.
In Russia, methyl bromide was used as an effective fumigant. The evaluation of basil
germplasms in order to find strains resistant to Fusarium have started and new
resistant varieties are in bteeding experiments (R.euveni et al., 1996, 1997).
ns = significant at
u
tL
t--
t"J
E. PUTIEVSKYAND B. GAI-AMBOSI
In addition to the above mentioned diseases, the following species rx/ere reported
to occur on basil or to cause problems in basil cultivation: Cercospora ocirnicola (Jpadhyay
et al., 1976), Corlnespora cassiicola
Qevi et a/., 1979), Alsinoe arxii (Sldhar and Ullasa
1979),Erisiphe
biocellata (Sharma
and Chaudhaty 1981), R.ltiqoctoniasolani (Sharma1981),
Pseud,trnonas
cichorii
Q4iller and Burgess 1987) and Pseudomonas syingae @l-Sadek et a/.,
leel).
Mechanization
Almost all phases of the production system can be mechanized. The degree of
mechatization can be very different in different production areas,
depending on the
ptoduction size, traditional ot economic factors. Generally sowing or planting of
seedLings, interrow weeding and harvest is carried out mechanically, although there
are places where every phase is made manua\ The elements of the production
system are adapted to locally avaslable machinery. In large scale commercial harvest-
ing motorized cutters or movers with an adjustable cutting height are used.
Harvesting
Among the many different factors, which influence the quality of the dried or dis-
tilled basil yield, one of the most important is the harvesting time. The development
of the plant organs containing essential oil in different quantities and composition is
a continuous process and to find the optimum harvest date is quite difficult. Several
studies revealed differences in the oil content and comDosition due to leaves of
different size and ^ge or due to flowering of the plant.
Bettelheim et a/. (1993) have found that during the ontogenesis the essential oil
content of the leaves stayed at the same level (0.3%o),
vzhile thete were great differ-
ences in the oi,l conterit of the flowers at different development stages. The highest
oil content of the flowers (1.0%) was found at an eady development stage (Iable
2.3).
Great differences were found in the essential oil content and comoosition of
young and mature leaves.
Usually, young leaves
had a higher content of issential oil
per area unit compared to old leaves. As the leaf size increased, the essential oil
content decreased. The oil content of young, 1 cm long basil leaves
was 0.47-0.660/o,
Table 2,3 Essentia-1 oil content in different plant parts of Ocimum
basilicun
@ettelheim et a/., 1993)
while that of the n
components also (
was rich in linalol
oldet leaves (41-4
In another stud
basil was followed
the monoterpenes
sesquiterpenes
hai
stages (Lemberkor
In India, the el
the herb and oil y
(4.5-8 t/ha) and c
were tfansplanted
the leaves (Iable 1
temperatute and i
the oil yield deper
yield was maximal
the average hetb y
stage the coffespo
Thete were gter
by different meth
chemotype of Oa
times a year.
The t
harvested
with lor
flower spikes, gavt
gave an oil .vith a
spikes produced a
\W4ren
the optir
that the height of
tained (Iable 2.6).
decreased 250/0, b
Table 2.4 Essen
Youngleaves (1 cm)
Ptoxima.l
Distal
Matute leaves (7 cm)
Proxima^1
Distal
Proportion (Vo)
fron Total
Fre:b l%eight of
Floaer
Esyntial Oil Content
To bof
Part
Flowering
Stage
lTithout floweting
Early flowet initiation
Late flower initiation
Flowedng
Full flowering
0.0
6.2
1,3.2
20.1
1.5.7
66.6
59.6
54.9
50.1
46.1,
0.000
1.008
0.756
0.560
0.422
0.366
0.366
0.352
0.318
0.328
tti
!t
:-"'
r:
t
t,J
PRODUCTION SYSTEMS
OF SWEET BASIL
Table 2,4 Essential oil in proximal and distal parts of young and mature sweet
basil leaves
flWerker
et a1.,1993)
Main Component
in E:nntial Oil (ok)
51
es wefe
reported
imicola
()padhyay
idhar and Ul1asa
ni (Sharma1981),
'e
@I-Sadek et al.,
.. The degee of
lepending
on the
Lg or planting of
y, although there
f the production
nmercial
harvest-
are
used.
the dried or dis-
Ihe development
rd composition is
: difficult. Sevetal
due to leaves of
s the essential
oi-l
were great differ-
ages.
The highest
nent stage (Table
I composition of
:nt of essential
oil
, the essential
oil
; was
0.47-0.660/0,
a basi.licun
Oil Content
0k
L,catvs
0.366
0.366
0.352
0.318
0.328
while that of the matur
e,7 cmlong leaves
was only 0.L30/o.
The coltent of the main
components also changed when the leaves grew older' The oil of the young leaves
*". ,i.h in linalol 1+llSto/o), while the methy' chavicol content was higher in the
older leaves (4t-44o/o) flVerker et a1.,1993) QabIe 2'4)'
In anothef study, in which the formation of the biologically active substances
of
basil vras followed during the vegetation period, it was found that in the herb oils
the monoterpenes reachid their maximum during the flowering stage, wh1le the
,.rqoit.rp.rres had their maxlmum during the late flowering and seed ripening
stages (I-emberkovics et al., 1993)'
i' Irrdi", the effect of transplanting dates and development :lage at harvest on
the herb and oil yield were studied (R.andhawa
and Gill 1995). The maximum herb
(4.5-8 t/ha) rrrd oil yields (33-54l/ha) were measuted when french basil seedlings
ir.r. ourrrpl anted atit . .t d of July. Later tr^nsplanting.
decreased
the oil content of
the leaves (Iable 2.5). These resrrlts can be onderstood according to the effects of
*rrp.ru*. and.
day
length (Putievsky 1983). There wete significant diffetences in
trre olt yietd dependi.rg o"tr
,tr. development stage during-harvest. The herb and oil
!.ld *". -dmat at tf,e stage
of complete flowering. At the stage
of 5070 flowering
'rh. ^rrrug.herb yield wr, 4]0 t/ha ani the oil trtl+ Y.t 26.kg/ha, at 100o/o
flowedng
st"g. th.lorresponding figures were 5.6 t/.ha and 57 kg/ha' -
- ?h.r. -.r. gr.r, dif?.tJ.t..t in the quality and quantity cl{,th: basil oil hatvested
by diff.r.rrt m"ethods in Australia (Bonnardeaux 1992). A linalol-methyl chavicol
.ir.-oayp. of Ocimurn
basilicun cv.'"Large green" wa: $owl1 and harvested four
times a year.
The highest oil yield (91, .6 l/ha/year) was
obtained.wfe.n the plants were
harvest"d with long, 12-20 cm flower spikes.
Plants harvested with shott, 3-11 cm
flower spikes,
g ve-^noil yield of only ee
.g t/llalyear. Dis illation o.f the whole plant
gr-r. u.r
til -l i u high percentage oi mgth]'] chavicol Q6-320/o),
whereas the flower
ipikes produbed an oil rich in linalol (43-59%)'
' wh.r, the optimum conditions for mechanical harvest wefe studied, it was found
that the heighi of the plants at the harvest time influenced the fresh biomass ob-
t"ir.d gaVtZ
2.e7.If
the plants
were
cut
when
they
werc
25
!- Fgh: the
freg!
ry1ld
d..t.rred 2lo/o,but.to ihrrrg", were observed in the dry leaf and oil yield' The
bof
Part nJSefitr4l ull
Content
(ok) 1,8- Linalool
B-Caryt
Cineole Pful/tne Metful Methll Eugenol
Chauicol
Eugenol
Young leaves (1 cm)
Prcximal
Distal
Matute leaves (7 cm)
Proximal
Distal
0.66
0.47
0.12
0.14
;
3.1
3.L
3.6
51
47
41
39
0.6
2.1
1.0
1..1
0.9
0.3 ;
8.2
7.8
5.3
;30
41. 0.3
44 0.6
-
U
ll.
w
z
o
E
:p
E. PUTIEVSKY AND B. GAI,\MBOSI
Table 2.5 Effects of transplanting dates and harvesting stages on essential
oil production
(R.andhawa and Gill, 1995)
Plant Ti:sae
Herb bnf Inflorucence
'lleatrnent 1988 1989 Mean 1988 1989 Mean 1988 1989 Mean
From the above
ological stage
of thr
harvest time either
impact on the quar
ofharvests depend
retically the distille,
have to be detetmi
In the temperatt
April to Septembe
lected when the plz
harvest is collectec
In countries wit
temperatute higher
hatvests dudng th
sowing takes place
after a month. Du
the sowing and tr
harvested at the b,
2-2.5 months inter
and plantations co
In Istael seeds
harvested for dry
distillation plants r
four times betwee:
Smaller basil fie
manually with the
ferred to a cooling
After that the pla
cooJing systems
(a
Post-harvest Pror
Drying
The qualiry
colou
other postharvest
the
moisture cont(
the harvest
and
*
when
exposed
to t
befote
drying
in c
Nykiinen
and l
basil
herb and
in
storing
in closed
d
was
reduced by 4
pounds
in basil
ler
400c.
Tfansplant date
J"ly 1
July
15
July
30
August 15
August 30
------ (%oil) -=---------
0.86 0.66 0.76 1.98 1,.17 1,.57 1,.28 1.19 1.23
0.80 0.66 0.73 1,.99 1..19 1.s9 1..46 1.34 1.40
0.73 0.71, 0.72 1.62 1,.48 1.55 1,.45 1..26 1.35
0.54 0.71, 0.62 1,.23 1,.27 1.25 1.28 1.18 1..23
0.84 0.61, 0.72 1,.21, 1.17 1,.19 1.16 1.13 1.L4
Harvesting stage
Vegetative
50% Flowering
100% Flowering
0.86
0.77
0.62
0.75
0.62
0.64
0.80 1,.53 1,.26 1.39
0.69 1,.64 1,.19 1.41
0.63 1,.66 1,.31, 1.48
1.31 1.23 1,.27
1.36 1,.25 1.30
1.31, 1.18 1.24
ISD0.o51
Transplant date
Harvesting stage
Interaction
ns
NS
ns
tls
ns
11S
u.r L ns
0.05 0.03
ns 0.08
0.10
0.05
tls
0.06
NS
ns
1LSD0.05
= least significant diffetence; P = 0.05; ns = nonsignificant; analysis on square root transforms
data.
cutting height of the plants had no effect on the proportions of the maifl com-
pounds of the oil (Putievsky et a1.,1989).
The maximum oil cofltent of several
basil species was found at the stage of 500/o
seed ripening. For example, a methylchavicol type bast7, Ocimum basilicum var. glabratum
was grown from seedlings
and harvested at different phenological stages. The maxi-
mum herb yield was obtained between the 100% flowering and initiation of seed set
stage. At this stage, which appeared 150*180 days after the planting, the fresh plant
weight was at its maximum, i.e. 930 g/plant. The maximum essential oil content
Q.0%) v/as found later, 2!V240 days after the planting, at 50oh seed set and seed
npening stage (Gupta 1996).
Tabre 2.6 rhe effect of harvest
T:-#.;l#::y:in;T"t" oil composition
of sweet basil
Haruut Height Fruh Yield
(m abor,v the g/*t
grolnd)
Flowering Dry Leaues Essential Oil
Stuge
ok g/*t in Dry l-,eawt
u/m2
Main Conponent in the
Essential
Oil at the 3'd Harae$ fk)
Unalool MetfulChauicol
28.2
34.6
n.2
455
452
436
15
20
40
4900
4238
3801
10
17
25
6.6
6.7
7.3
47.8
48.7
50.6
tJ-
ta
z
0
r
Y
Lr
E. PUTIEVSKY AND B. GATAMBOSI
Two basic dryng systems exist:
1. Natural dtyug in the shade. Due to economic reasofls this way of drying is used
in the developing countries, although it has the disadvantage
of possible contami-
nation by micro-organisms.
2. Arnficial drying by warm air. Due to the controlled conditions of this dtl'rrg
process, it is suitable for industrial production. In production countries and areas
diffetent mechanical dtlog systems exists, like plate-chamber driers, conveyor
driers etc. (Hornok 1992). Standard quality requirements regarding the volatile oil
content and microbiological contamination are easier firlfilled using artificial dtyr"g.
In order to fulfill the standard quatity requirements, the dried basil raw material is
subjected to different post-drying processes, like stalk removing, crumbling, cutting,
cleaning, sorting, screening and gdnding. All these processes need special machinery.
Storage
The dried basil is stored protected from light and moisture. Generally basil is packed
in air-tight or double budap bags with or without internal polyethylene linings. De-
pending on the storage conditions some changes
may be expected in the oil content,
composition or the colour of dried basil leaves.
Ifl a storage expedment sweet basil was dried at 45"C for 1,2
hours. After three,
six and seven
months storage the essential
oil content and composition was checked
by steam distillation and GC-MS. The loss of total essential oil after three, six and
seven months storage was I9oh,62oh and 660/0, respectively.
Among the main com-
ponents the content of methylchavicol and eugenol decreased drastically during
dtyt"g and storage, while that of linalool and 1,8-cineole increased during the same
period (Baritaux et
a/.,7992).
In another study slight changes were observed during the storage of dried basil
leaves. The plants were carefully dried at 35oC and then stored in white paper "sugar
bags" in dtawers at an alternating room temperature (I4-20"q for three years.
The
essential
oil content was determined after every six months storage. After 27 months
storage no changes were observed in the essential oil content (05W and after 3
years storage only slight changes were recorded in the proportions of the oil compo-
nents (inalool56.0oh and 28.70/o) (Svoboda
et a1.,1996).
Colout, sensory qualities and storage characteristics of freeze-dried and air dded
basil were studied by Pddkkonen et al. (1990).
Basil is seldom freeze-&ied, because of
the high cost of this method. The fueeze-dried basil exhibited an intensive green
colour and the air-dried basil a brown colour. After nine months storage in the light
or ^t a raised temperature (35"C) the colour of the freeze-dried basil was altered only
slightly. At room temperature the intensity of odour and taste of the freeze-dried
basil was better preserved in vacuum and nitrogen-filled packages than in paper
bags. The higher temperature was generally unfavourable for the freeze-dried prod-
uct. The study demonstrated that the quality of air-dried basil could be maintained
for 2 years
in air-tight packages at room temperature.
Oil Distillation
Depending on th,
flower oil and he
stage, when the
ftom flowers alol
The distillatior
ated distilleries.
T
cially used for ot
The distillation ti
can also be done
allow the harvest
moisture conteflt
distillation appata
for prolonged pe
In India, basiJ
the growing seas
plant. The essent
it is 0.1-0.25%.
t\-22k9/ha, dt
In Israel basil
plants have flov
The average fres
and the essential
It may be en
depending on d
conditions. Brigl
oil content whilt
last irrigation an
content increase
Seed Productic
The great PoPuJ
production, Thr
since it requires
tion is generalll
and seed comP
after examtnai<
Once selected,
cultivars. Thete
for basil seeds
I
The quality t
of the Internati
scribe the labor
catted out in *
lJ.
a
z
E
z
LJ
rfdrying
is used
ossible
contami-
s of this &yirg
rntries
and
areas
&iers, conveyor
g the volatile
oil
3
artificial
dty"g.
;il raw
material
is
umbling cutting,
pecial
machinery.
lly
basil
is packed
'lene
linings.
De-
n the oil content,
rurs,
After three,
ion'qras
checked
er thfee, six and
g the
main
com-
lrastically
during
during
the same
ge of dried
basil
rite
paper
"sugar
three
years.
The
ilfter 27 months
5o/o)
and after 3
f the
oil compo-
ed and air dried
lried,
because
of
intensive
green
tr:age'in
the light
was
altered
only
the freeze-dded
s than in paper
:eze-dried
prod-
I be maintained
PRODUCTION SYSTEMS OF S!7EET BASIL
Oil Distillation
Depending on the harvested plant part, two grades
of oil are obtained from basil, i.e.
flower oil and herb oil. The highest content of essential oil appears at the floweting
stage, when the plant is cut with 12-20 cm long flower spikes. The oil produced
from flowers alone has a superior note and a higher price (Bonnardeaux 7992).
The distillation of basil is geherally carried out in stable and intermittendy oper-
ated distilleries. The distillation process used for basil is the same, which is commet-
cially used for other spices and essential oil plants flVijesekera 1986, Denny 1995).
The distillation time is 1-1.5 h. Usually fresh matter is used for the distillation, but it
can also be done with semi-dry ot &y matter as well. In India; it is recommended to
allow the harvested crop to wilt in the field for 4-5 hours in order to reduce the
moisture content. This facilitates the handling of the material and the packing of the
distillation apparatus. Howwer, the freshly cut herb should not be exposed to the sun
for prolonged periods of time since this has advetse effects on the quality of the oil.
In India, basil fields for commercial production are harvested five times during
the growing season. Four times a f7ord. harvest is collected and finally the whole
plant. The essential oil content of the flotal parts is about 0.4oh, of the whole plant
it is 0.1-0.250h. The floral oil yield is 12-13 kg/ha and the whole plant oil yield is
18-22kg/ha, due to the high ftesh yield (Srivastava 1980).
In Israel basil is harvested 3-4 times at the flowering stage, when 5070 of the
plants have flowers. Any delay of the harvest decreases the regrowth of the plants.
The avetage fresh yield is 75 t/ha/year, It is distilled immediately after the harvest
and the essential
oil yield is 1.20-1.40 kg/ha.
It may be emphasized that both the herb yield and the oil content vary grearJy
depending on the fertility of the soil, harvesting procedures, as well as seasonal
conditions. Bright sunny weather, immediately preceeding the harest, increases the
oil content while cloudy ot rainy weather decreases it, Also the interval between the
last irrigation and harvesting time is very important. If the interval is longet the oil
content increases.
Seed Production
The gteat populadty of basil sets a continuing demand for seeds
and thus fot seed
production. The seed production is carried out by specialized growers and farms
since it requfues special biological knowledge and technological skills. Seed produc-
tion is generally performed on the basis of contracts between industrial end-usets
and seed companies. Commercial cultivars in each country are generally accepted
after examination over 3 to 4 seasons and only the superior plants are propagated.
Once selected, production of seeds is necessary for propagation of those special
cultivars. There are national and international standards fot the quality requirements
for basil seeds matketed commercially.
The quality evaluation of seeds suitable for propagation is regulated by the rules
of the International Seed Testing Association (Anon 1976). These tegulations pre-
scribe the Taboratory conditions for basil seeds. The germination of basil seeds is
carried out in the dark, at a temperature of 20-30"C, dudng 14 days and the seeds are
U
lJ.
o
m
z
E
*
LJ
56 E. PUTIEVSKY
AND B. GAI-AMBOSI
placed between papers or on the top of the paper. According to the Hungarian
Standards for medicinal and aroma(rc plant seeds (N{SZ 6387-87) first and second
quality basil seeds must have a purity of 96 and 980/0, respectively,
and a germination
capacity of 70 and 8570, tespectively (Anon 1987).
Usually basil seeds are ptoduced in sepatate fields rvithout cutting the plants for
leaf ot oil production. In warmer countries, where the vegetation period is longer,
one leaf harvest before or after seed formation cafl be done. The largest quantiry of
seeds and seeds
with the highest germination ratio vrere collected from plants which
were almost dry in the secondary and teriary stems and in the lower parts of the
branches (Putievsky 1993) (Figure 2.4). At this stage the plants were harvested by
seed harvesters, the seeds
were cleaned and separated according to the quality re-
quirements. Desiccation of the plants by using total weed killers, helps to dry the
plants and the seeds can be collected easier
by combine. The seed
yield of sweet basil
ranged between 200-300kg/ha in central Europe (Hornok 1978) and 990-1300
2.O
s
.9
q,
> o.8
upper medium lower
bronch
position
Figate 2.4 Seed yield in sweet
basil as affected by branch position, stem-age,
and plant maturity
@utievsky 1993).
ctl
an
!,
o
(l,
o
o
6 )o
6 ''c
o
kglha in Italy (
1500-2000
kgl
Vety little is
rience
the viabi
the basis
of G
expected
to mz
tions of comm
capacity
of co
respectivelY,
af
house
in Finlar
UTILIZATIO
Basil
is one
o{
and ftagrance.
the part of be
industrial Purt
utilization for
medicinal and
Use of Fresh
The fresh
aro
pickled
vegetr
and flowers c
tion of the fo
most poPulat
79%o
used
bar
For fresh
r
so called
Frel
well as other
cial
importan
and strigs at
producer
anc
harvest
Proc
special
Packi
The most
techique
Q'{l
tomaizedan
herb
all
the'
Use of Froz
Frozen
basil
over fresh ir
has
become
- Grccn plonl
-- Eorly dricd plont
U
u-
m
2
F
LJ
the Hungarian
.rst
and
second
I a
germination
3 the plants for
eriod
is longet,
gest
quantity
of
m plants
which
rer parts
of the
re harvested
by
r the quality re-
relps
to dry the
ld of sweet
basil
t and
990-1300
PRODUCTION SYSTEMS
OF S\?EET BASIL
kg/han Italy (Cuocolo and Duranti 1982).Inwarmer climates the seed yield can be
1500-2000 kg/ha.
Very litde is known about the storage of basil seeds.
According to practical expe-
dence the viability of basil seeds is preserved during storage
for quite a few years. On
the basis of German experiences Priesdey (1986) teported that basil seeds can be
expected to maintain a high germination capacity for 4-5 years in favourable condi-
tions of commercial storage.
According to own unpublished results, the germination
capacity of commercially available seeds of Hungarian origin was 54oh and 42oh,
respectively, after 10 and 1.2 years storage. Lemon basil seeds produced in a plastic
house in Finland had a germinaion capaitty of 81.-87oh after 6-7 years storage.
UTILIZNTTON FORMS OF BASILS
Basil is one of the most popular and usefi.rl culinaty herbs due to its delicate ^roma
and fragrance. The cultivation methods and production systems vary depending on
the part of basil used (fresh or dry leaf, essential oil, seed), on the processing for
industrial purposes and on the climatic conditions where it is grown. The main
utilization forms of different basil types are fresh basil, frozen, dried, essential oil,
medicinal and other uses.
Use of Fresh Basil
The fresh aromatic leaves are used as flavourings or spices in sauces,
stews, salads,
pickled vegetables,
vinegar, atomaic oils as well as in "Bouquet g^rnl".The leaves
and flowers of differendy coloured cultivars are preferred in restaurants for decora-
tion of the food. In a questionnary in the Los Angeles arca, Cabfottia, basil vras the
most populat herb among more than 500 restaurants. Of all types of restautants
7970 used basil @rown 1991).
For ftesh use, the most widely used basil ty?es are the large leaf, highly aromat)c,
so called French orltahan basils, but several other types ruhich differ in leaf size as
well as other species
with different shape andaroma have more and more commer-
cial importance, fot example lemon basil and cinnamon basil. The fresh basil leaves
and strigs are sensitive to senescense and thetefote the transport between the
producer and the final user should be as quick as possible. Othetwise special post-
harvest processing, i.e. cooling ftom harvest up to the consumer, controlled air or
special packing, is needed to preserve the quality.
The most advanced production technology for fiesh cut basil is the nutrient film
techique (I.{FT), which is also used for the production of fresh salads. Highly au-
tomatized and conttolled greenhouse production systems can produce standatd quality
herb all the year round.
Use of Frozen Basil
Ftozen basil is used in the same
way as fresh basil. Frozen maternl has the advantage
over fresh in that it is not dependent on cultivation periods. The use of frozen basil
has become more and more popular in Europe and North America.
rd plant maturity
()
ll-
w
z
E
t'-
E. PUTIEVSKYAND B. GALAMBOSI
The cultivation methods used to oroduce basil for consumotion as fresh or frozen
are vety similat. In warm countries basils are grown in smdl areas outdoors or in
plastic houses, and arc sold on the local market. To ensure
a continuous supply, planting
dates ate normally staggered. Commercial or large scale production of basil generally
takes place in greenhouses
or plastic houses, where the plants are grown in peat or
afificial soils. During the winter time, in the northern and temperate zones, additional
light and heat is necessary for the normal photosynthetic activity of the plants.
Use of Dried Basil
Dried foliage is the most impotant utilization fotm of basil after basil oil. Prepata-
tion of dried basil is practiced in the home gardens, mostly for use in the own
kitchen. Large-scale production, using highly industrialised production techniques
and quality control, provides basil leaves of hiqh quality for the food industry. Dried
basil leaves are the most popular herb in the French, ltahan, Mexican and Greek
cousines, especially in tomato-based recipes. Basil is used to flavour stews, sauces,
sausages, and is also used as a seasoning for confectionery products and chartreuse
liqueur.
Use of Basil Oil
The essential oil and oleoresin of basil are extensively used in the food industry,
including confectionery, baked goods, meat products and liqueurs. The other main
consumption area of basil oil is in perfumery. Basil oil is used in perfumes, soaps,
shampoos and dental products. In the perfumery the chemical composition of basil
oil has a great impottance. The oils ftom different tlpes or different geographical
production areas have a different value on the wodd market.
The effective production systems for the production of high quality dded leaf
yield or essential oil of basil are concentrated to the most favourable climatic regions,
where the high investment costs of the industrialized production system can be
profitable due to the high yields. The elements of these production systems, de-
scribed in the above subchapter, are a tesult of long tradition, intensive research
and
development efforts made by each country.
The essential oil distillation process is the same as used for other species of
aromaic plants. The steam for distillation can be supplied by fuel (in modirn appa-
ratus) or ftom burning plants (in old, caldera type distillation). The plants are har-
vested at the flowering stage and distilled as soon as possible. The quality of the
oil (composition and arcma) depends on the vaneq, seaso{l, development stage and
distillation technique.
Medicinal Use of Basil
Traditionally basil has been used as a medicinal plant for various ailments, such as
headaches,
coughs, dianhea, constipation, warts, worms and kidney malfunction. It
is also thought to be an antispasmodic, stomachicum, carminative, antimalaial, feb-
tifuge and stimulant (-W'ome 1982, Guon et a/,, 1991). Ethnobotanical surveys report
the traditional unltzatton of basil as a vetednary medicinal plant as well (Baerts and
Lehmann
1991).
I
properties.
Other Uses
of Bz
Basil rceds
The main functior
specialized
arca of
tion areas
and alsc
Lately the fatty oil
metic industry
(l.i
basil seed
oil are
I
acid (6-11%o)
(An1
Ornanental
Different cultivarr
cultures
for decot
the temperate
anr
including
basil
ha
evaluations
have I
orative
purposes
(
Edible
flowers
The flovrers with
gether with sumn
used
for lsligious
MARKET POTI
Although basil hr
national and intet
cultivation
areas.
Basil Oil
The total wodd 1
55 tons for Ocina
(2.8
million dolla
dollars).
During
t
tion of basil
oil v
Basil oils are
brackets
are
tons
(4.5), Israel
(2), d
.s fresh or frozen
s outdoors or in
s supply, planting
of basil generally
grown in peat or
zones, additional
the plants.
rasil oil. Prepan-
use in the own
iction techniques
d industry. Dried
,xican
and Greek
ruf stews, sauces,
ts and chaftfeuse
re food industry,
. The other main
perfumes, soaps,
nposition of basil
rent geographical
quality dried leaf
: climatic regions,
n system can be
lion systems, de-
sive
research
and
other species of
iin modern appa-
re plants arc har-
he quality of the
)pment stage and
ailments,
such as
y malfunction. It
antimalartal, feb-
:al
surveys
report
well (Baerts
and
PRODUCTION SYSTEMS OF S\)rEET BASIL
Lehmann 1991). Basil oil, especially the camphor containing oil, has antibacterial
properties.
Other Uses of Basil
Basil seedt
The main function of basil seeds
is for propagation. The seed production is a small,
specialized arca of basil cultivation, which has great importance in the main produc-
tion areas and also in the international seed market (Hornok 1992, Putievsky 1993).
Lately the fatty oil derived from basil seeds have been of some interest in the cos-
metic industry @iaz et a1.,1997, Domokos and Peredi 1993).
The man fatty acids of
basil seed otL are linolenic (43-640/o),linoleic (174104, oleic (8-13%) and palmitic
add (6-11,0/o) (Angers et aL,1996).
Ornanental
Different cultivars of basil are traditionally used in the Mediterr^fle^n area- as pot
cultures for decoration, aromaization and sentimental purposes. Presendy both in
the temperate and the nordic climate the popularity of the coflti:r'erized herbs,
including basil has increased (Dumville 1989, Pessala
et a/.,1996). Wide getmplasm
evaluations have been carried out in order to find new interesting forms for dec-
orative purposes @4orales
et a1.,1993b, Simon and Reiss-Bubenheim 1987).
Edible
flowers
The flowers with different fragnnce and colour (white, pink, violet) are used to-
gether with summer vegetables, cheese, fish, butter, oils, etc. The flowers are also
used for lgligious pufposes.
MARKET POTENTIAL OF BASiL PRODUCTS
Although basil has a wide popularity, no up-to date figures can be found on the
national and international trade statistics. Especially there is lack of information of
cultivation areas. The market ootential for basil broducts is summarized below.
Basil Oil
The total wodd production of basil oils can be estimated to 93-95 tf year of rvhich
55 tons for Ocirzan
gratissimaru (800.000 dollars in value), 43 tons for Ocimam basilicam,
(2.8 million dollars). About 100 kg of oils are ptoduced from Ocimam canan (5000
dollars). During the last few years, the most conservative estimate is that the produc-
tion of basil oil will inctease by a few percents yeatly Q,awrence 1993).
Basil oils are currently produced in the following countries (the quantities in
brackets are tons): India (15), Bulgaria (7), Eglpt (5), Pakistan (4.5), the Comoros
(4.5), Istael Q), the former Yugoslavia, USA and Madagascar (each 1), Reunion and
IH
1S
t;:
/Iir:.r
l..i
60 E. PUTIEVSKY AND B. GALAMBOSI
Albania (each 0.5 ), Hungaty (0.3) and Argentina (0.2 (Lawrence 1993). In the former
Soviet Union the reported production of Ocinam gratissimun oil during 1972, 1973
and1974 was 70,95 and 141
tons, respectively (Anon 1974).
USA is probably the largest market fot basil oil, followed by the European coun-
tries, Germany, France, UK and the Nethedands @.obbins and Greenhalg 1979).
Ftom Spain a consumption of 5 tf year has been reported (Porredon 1987).
Basil Herb
In conttast to basil oil, there are no avaiable statistics concerning the wodd pro-
duction of dried basil herb. A considetable proportion of the wodd production,
particulady in the Mediterranean area,in India and in California, does not enter the
international trade, but is rather consumed locally. For example, the domestic dried
basil consumption during the 1970s in Hungary was 70-90 tf year and 100-120 t rvas
expoted (Hornok 1978).
Available import statistics reveal that USA is one of the biggest consumers of
dried basil, due to the incteasing popularity of Italian and Mexican style cooking.
According to Greenhalg (1979) and Simon (1988) the basil import ir'1964 was 19 t,
in 1976 41.2 t and during 1986-1988 1400-1800 t/year. The value of the basil import
during 1988 was 2.456.000 dollars. During the period 1972-77 the main suppliers of
USA were Bulgaria (71 t in 1972),Hungary (87 t n 1972), Mexico (86 t in 1973) and
Egypt (150 t in 1976).
Other main areas for basil import is the European countries. According to the
latest market survey, the total basil herb import to Europe was about 830-880 t/year
(Anon 1991).
France is the biggest importer, 300-350 tf year,
followed by the United
Kingdom (250 t/year), Germany Q00 t/year) and the Netherlands (80 t/year). The
import of basil to Belgium and Switzedand was 10 and 5 tf year, re
spectively
(Svoboda
1984). The import to Finland during 1982
was 6.6 t (Hdlvd.,1985).
One of the main
suppliers of the l7estern European countries is Egypt. The production ^rea in Egypt
was 7238ha in 1994 and the following quantities of dried basil were exported: to
United Kingdom 200 t, to Germany 150 t, to France 1,40
t and to the Nethedands
50 t (Shalaby 1996).
Fresh Basil
Thete is very little information about the fresh basil market, mainly because
the fresh
plant material is used quickly and locally. Italy is the largest fresh basil producer with
5000 t/year, followed by Ftance Q000 t/year), Israel (500 t/year) and Notth-Africa
(mainly Morocco, about 100-150 t/year) (Bianco 1992). Additionally there is signifi-
cant production in the USA and Central America. In the north European countries
fresh basil is produced hydroponicly. In Finland ftesh basil herb was third on the
popular herbs list (1995),
including 6 millions fresh cut basil herbs (Galambosi 1996).
Ptoduction Areas
Due to its great popularity basil is grown all over the wodd, in the rvarm and temper-
ate zones. Basil cultivation is practiced in the following countries:
Warm climate:
Mediterranean area
Temperate zone:
From the available
tion areas,
we tried
basil in the wodd. r
tion is estimated
tc
estimated domestir
other areas,
such
as
area
of sweet
basil
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Adler, P.R.,
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J
essential
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Adnan, S.A.W.
and
H
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(Ocir
Aharoni, N., Dvir, O.
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h
Angers, P., Morales,
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JAOCS,T'-
Anon (1974)
Data of
Anon (1976)
Intemal
Anon (1987) C1og1-,
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Anon (1991)
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Baerts,
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o
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65
... Galambosi, 1999) and because only the top half of the plant is harvested for consumption, basil avoids potential contamination with the aquaponic recirculating nutrient-rich water.Basil is a tender, subtropical (warm-season) herbaceous annual that grows best between 18 and 21 C day temperatures (Putievsky & Galambosi, 1999;Ball Seed Company, 2019). Commonly grown types are categorized based on leaf size, plant shape, and/or flavors, for example, large-leaved basils (for example, lettuce leaf, sweet, and Italian basils) and small-leafed types (dwarf, bush, spicy, or lemon basils) (University of California, Davis, 2005). ...
... Basil is a tender, subtropical (warm-season) herbaceous annual that grows best between 18 and 21 C day temperatures (Putievsky & Galambosi, 1999;Ball Seed Company, 2019). Commonly grown types are categorized based on leaf size, plant shape, and/or flavors, for example, large-leaved basils (for example, lettuce leaf, sweet, and Italian basils) and small-leafed types (dwarf, bush, spicy, or lemon basils) (University of California, Davis, 2005). ...
... This is in contrast to the water temperature which did not differ significantly from those in the other treatments (Table 2), thus not affecting the fish. Although basil grows at~21 C day temperatures (Ball Seed Company, 2019; Putievsky & Galambosi, 1999), 27 C is optimal (Pogany, Bell, & Kirch, 1968). ...
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... Sweet basil (Ocimun basilicum L.) is a popular culinary herb originated in India, Africa and southern Asia and nowadays cultivated world-wide (Putievsky andGalambosi, 1999 andMakri andKintzios, 2007). Sweet basil is used extensively to add a distinctive aroma and flavor to food, such as salads, pizzas, meats and soups. ...
... Sweet basil (Ocimun basilicum L.) is a popular culinary herb originated in India, Africa and southern Asia and nowadays cultivated world-wide (Putievsky andGalambosi, 1999 andMakri andKintzios, 2007). Sweet basil is used extensively to add a distinctive aroma and flavor to food, such as salads, pizzas, meats and soups. ...
... The genus Ocimum is characterized by great variability in both morphology and chemical composition due to polyploidy, aneuploidy, and inter-and intraspecific hybridizations [15,56,57]. The studied species also showed variation in morphology and chemical compositions under optimum water supply. ...
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... Ocimum is particularly noted for its diversity, and it is estimated that up to 160 species of basil may exist [2]. Commercial basil varieties, however, are primarily O. basilicum [3,4], a species differentiated from other basils by its black gelatinous seeds and petiolate bracts [5]. Basil cultivars differ in traits such as leaf and flower color, leaf shape, aroma, and growth habit [6]. ...
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... Hence, making it a multifaceted vegetable highly demanded by the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food processing industries [4]. Native to the Asian continent (India, Pakistan, Iran, and Thailand), nowadays basil is widespread and cultivated worldwide [5,6]. Its dispersal to the European continent is mainly ascribed to its gastronomic value as fresh and dried herb in typical regional recipes [7]. ...
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... Basil (Ocimum basilicum L.), a member of the Lamiaceae family, has originated from India, Africa, and southern Asia. 84 Although basil is commonly used as a culinary herb, it has great importance as a medicinal herb. 85 Major essential oils of O. basilicum are determined as linalol (33%), eugenol (22%), estragole (20%), trans-a-bergamote (5%), terpinen-4-ol (4%). ...
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