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Salep orchids are used as medicinal plants in Turkey as a diarrhea stopping, restorative food for ulcers and upper respiratory ailments. Also the main ingredient of traditional Turkish ice cream and sahlep drinks is obtained from the tubers of wild orchids. It is reported that sahlep is obtained from 38 different orchid plants belonging to 10 different genera in Turkey. Sahlep had not standard chemical composition due to obtaining from different species of Orchidaceae in different regions. Also, sahlep composition shows a fairly large change depending on the period that collected. In order to protect the Orchidaceae species in Turkey, "Salep" export is prohibited since 1974. Although there was a ban on exports still millions lump removed from nature every year and exported to many countries, especially European countries. Continuously collected tubers were not found any chance the produce seeds and even if it produces seeds, these seeds having difficulty to germinate. Many in vitro studies were conducted by the researchers for the culture of orchids and orchid tubers have failed to adapt outdoor conditions. Intense collection of some species of sahlep orchids made it compulsory to take necessary measures without delay. The aim of this study investigates the effect of different harvest times on some quality characteristics of Serapias vomerace (Burm. fill.) Brig. species which one of the most collected species in the Aegean region. İn this study, starch ratio (%), mucilage ratio (%), protein ratio (%), moisture ratio (%), dry matter ratio (%) and ash ratio (%) was investigated. According to the harvest time, mucilage rate was found between 16-23%.
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