Edible Flowers-A New Promising Source of Mineral Elements in Human Nutrition

Department of Food Technology and Microbiology, Faculty of Technology, Tomas Bata University in Zlin, Namesti T. G. Masaryka 275, CZ-762 72 Zlin, Czech Republic.
Molecules (Impact Factor: 2.42). 12/2012; 17(6):6672-83. DOI: 10.3390/molecules17066672
Source: PubMed


On a global scale, people are demanding more attractive and tasty food. Both the quality of foodstuffs and aesthetic aspects contribute to the appearance of consumed meals. The attraction and appeal of individual dishes could be enhanced by edible flowers. New information concerning the composition and nutritional value of edible flowers is also important and represents a sufficient reason for their consumption. The aim of this study is to contribute to the popularization of some selected edible flowers of ornamental plants involving altogether 12 species. The flowers were used to determine their antioxidant capacity, which fluctuated between 4.21 and 6.96 g of ascorbic acid equivalents (AAE)/kg of fresh mass (FM). Correlation coefficients between antioxidant capacity and the contents of total phenolics and flavonoids were r² = 0.9705 and r² = 0.7861, respectively. Moreover, the results were supplemented with new data about the mineral composition of edible flowers (mostly, not found in the available literature). The highest levels of mineral elements were observed in the flowers of species Chrysanthemum, Dianthus or Viola. The most abundant element was potassium, the content of which ranged from 1,842.61 to 3,964.84 mg/kg of FM.

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Available from: Tunde Jurikova, Mar 01, 2014
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    • "As a source of antioxidants (Chanwitheesuk et al., 2005), edible flowers have also been shown to be effective as antitumor (Ukiya et al., 2002), anti-inflammatory (Ukiya et al., 2006) and antimutagenic (Wongwattanasathien et al., 2010) biological agents. Although the beneficial effects of flowers as a new promising source of mineral elements in human nutrition should not be neglected (Rop et al., 2012), care needs to be taken regarding the anti-nutritional substances that are sometimes produced by some species (Sotelo et al., 2007). In any case, there is an increasing number of ornamental (Mlcek and Rop, 2011) and wild species (Kucekova et al., 2013) grown as edible flowers. "
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    ABSTRACT: The growing need for nutraceutical new foods has generated interest in edible flowers. This flower trait inspired us to conduct experiments aimed at evaluating both the antioxidant activity and anthocyanin content in twelve species commonly used as ornamental plants. The antioxidant power of the edible flowers was very high compared to common vegetables and/or fruits. Except for the low values of Borago officinalis (only 0.5mmol FeSO4 100g-1 fresh weight; FW), the antioxidant power in the edible flowers ranged from 3.6 for Calendula officinalis to 70.4 for Tagetes erecta. Part of this high antioxidant activity is often due to their high anthocyanin content at least in the case of the more pigmented flowers (red or blue). For example in the red varieties of Viola×wittrockiana, Dianthus×barbatus, Pelargonium peltatum the high anthocyanin content (12.4, 13.3, 12.5mg cyn-3-glueq.100g-1 FW, respectively) was associated to a high antioxidant activity. Indeed the best nutraceutical performances (antioxidant and/or anthocyanin values) were shown by more pigmented flowers. A panel test was also carried out in order to evaluate the different degree of the flower's palatability. This taste evaluation showed a high biodiversity of sensory profiles showing the greatest appreciation for Trapaeolum majus, Ageratum houstonianum and Viola×wittrockiana. Finally, the overlap between nutraceuticals and organoleptic aspects highlighted promising species for a potential market targeting new foods aimed at satisfying both taste and health.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2016 · Scientia Horticulturae
    • "The aqueous extracts revealed antioxidant properties and relatively high contents of total phenolics and ascorbic acid; furthermore, three anthocyanins derived from cyanidin, delphinidin and pelargonidin were found, although only the majority one was tentatively identified as pelargonidin-3-O-sophoroside (Garzón & Wrolstad, 2009). Total phenolic and flavonoid content, and antioxidant properties of hydroalcoholic extracts of garden nasturtium flowers and leaves were also reported (Rop et al., 2012; Santo, Martins, Tomy, & Ferro, 2007). Bazylko et al. (2013) and Bazylko, Parzonkoa, Jez, Osinska, and Kiss (2014), attributed the scavenging activity of aqueous and hydroethanolic extracts from garden nasturtium herb obtained in Poland to the presence of cinnamoylquinic acids, primarily chlorogenic acid, and vitamin C. Furthermore , garden nasturtium flowers have been considered excellent dietary sources of lutein, which reduces the risk of macular degeneration (Niizu & Rodriguez-Amaya, 2005), and vegetative parts of garden nasturtium are also characterized by containing high concentrations of the aromatic glucosinolate glucotropaeolin to which antimicrobial and anticarcinogenic properties have been attributed (Bloem, Haneklaus, & Schnug, 2013; Kleinwachter, Schnug, & Selmar, 2008; Schreiner, Krumbein, Mewis, Ulrichs, & Huyskens-Keil, 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Edible flowers are increasingly used in food preparations, requiring new approaches to improve their conservation and safety. Food irradiation, particularly electron beam and gamma irradiation, is legally recognized to extend shelf life, improve hygienic quality and disinfest foods. Garden nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus L.) flowers are widely used in food preparations, being also known for their antioxidant properties and high content of phenolics. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the dose–response effects of gamma and electron beam irradiation (unirradiated and doses of 0.5, 0.8 and 1 kGy) on its antioxidant activity and phenolic compounds. Kaempferol-O-hexoside-O-hexoside was the most abundant compound, while pelargonidin-3-O-sophoroside was the major anthocyanin. The flowers showed high antioxidant activity, in particular as reducing agents. The interaction among the effects of irradiation dose and irradiation technology was a significant source of variation for all parameters. In general, irradiated samples gave higher antioxidant activity, maybe due to their higher amounts of phenolic compounds. Anthocyanins were the sole compounds negatively affected by irradiation. These differences were reflected in the linear discriminant analysis, which allowed the perfect separation of the applied doses, as also both irradiation technologies. Accordingly, irradiation represents a feasible technology to preserve the quality of edible flowers.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · Innovative Food Science & Emerging Technologies
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    • "Many studies indicated that edible flowers showed not only antioxidant and ROS scavenging activities but also had significant anti-inflammatory effects within the human body due to their bioactivity compounds. For instance, the flowers of ornamental roses were considered as a source of anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, antifungal and anti-viral substances [1] [2]. The chrysanthemum flowers showed a marked antimicrobial, antiinflammatory , and inhibiting effect on carcinogenesis in mice [1]. "

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