Some Perspectives on Rocket as a Vegetable Crop: A Review
Baby leaf rocket is consumed worldwide as a salad vegetable. It is usually mixed with other baby leaf crops, such as spinach and lettuce, to form a mesclun-type salad. Rocket crops have become popular due to their distinct taste and textural appearance in mixed salads. There are two common forms of rocket that are commercially cultivated, a perennial species (Diplotaxis tenuifolia (L.) DC.) known as perennial wall rocket and an annual species (Eruca sativa Mill.) known as annual garden rocket. The popularity of baby leaf crops has increased in recent years due to consumer demand for a convenient, nutritious and easily accessible product. The baby leaf salad sector is now a significant part of the leafy vegetable market, with growth in this sector estimated to continue. The leaves of cultivars of perennial wall rocket and annual garden rocket have been bred to look similar, allowing for a year-round supply of produce. Despite this, there are many differences between the species that affect their responses to abiotic factors during growth and storage. This paper aims to provide some perspectives on the historical importance, botanical classification and cultivation techniques of these economically important plants.