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Comment on article“Are wild and cultivated flowers served in restaurants or sold by local producers in Denmark safe for the consumer?” Food and Chemical Toxicology 120 (2018) 129–142. Doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2018.07.007

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In autumn 2018, Food and Chemical Toxicology published an article Are wild and cultivated flowers served in restaurants or sold by local producers in Denmark safe for the consumer?” by Mikael M. Egebjerg, Pelle T. Olesen, Folmer D. Eriksen, Gitte Ravn-Haren, Lea Bredsdorff i Kirsten Pilegaard Denmark." from the Technical University of Denmark. Being impressed by the amount of review work the authors have done and the quality of papers published in the Journal I would like to comment some inaccuracies and bias. *** References *** 1. Egebjerg MM, Olesen PT, Eriksen FD, Ravn-Haren G, Bredsdorff L, Pilegaard K. Are wild and cultivated flowers served in restaurants or sold by local producers in Denmark safe for the consumer? Food Chem Toxicol. 2018 Oct;120:129-142. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2018.07.007 2. Kalemba-Drożdż M. “Comment on article “Are wild and cultivated flowers served in restaurants or sold by local producers in Denmark safe for the consumer?” Food and Chemical Toxicology 120 (2018) 129–142. Doi:10.1016/j.fct.2018.07.007.” Food Chem Toxicol. 2018 Dec 31. pii: S0278-6915(18)30937-2. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2018.12.055. [Epub ahead of print] 3. Łuczaj Ł, Szymański W. Wild vascular plants gathered for consumption in the Polish countryside: a review. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 2007(3):17, https://doi.org/10.1186/1746-4269-3-17 4. Łuczaj Ł: Dzikie rośliny jadalne Polski. Przewodnik survivalowy. Second edition. Krosno: Chemigrafia; 2004. 5. Łuczaj Ł. Dzika Kuchnia. Wydawnictwo Nasza Księgarnia, 2013, ISBN 1301271 6. Łuczaj Ł. 2011. Dziko rosnące rośliny jadalne użytkowane w Polsce od połowy XIX w. do czasów współczesnych. Wild food plants used in Poland from the mid-19th century to the present, Etnobiologia Polska, 1: 57-125 7. Łuczaj Ł. 2008. Dziko rosnące rośliny jadalne w ankiecie Józefa Rostafińskiego z roku 1883, Wild food plants in the questionnaire of Józef Rostafiński from 1883. „Wiadomości Botaniczne” 52: 1 / 2, s. 39-50. 8. Plants for Future. https://pfaf.org/ [02.12.2018] 9. Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn 1981 ISBN 0-600-37216-2 10. Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications 1990 ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 11. Egebjerg MM, Olesen PT, Eriksen FD, Ravn-Haren G, Bredsdorff L, Pilegaard K. Response to comment on article, doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2018.12.055. Food and Chemical Toxicology, Available online 2 January 2019, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2018.12.058 [Epub ahead of print] 12. „GOSPODYNI DOSKONAŁA, czyli przepisy utrzymywania porządku w domu i zaopatrzenia go we wszystkie przyprawy, zapasy apteczkowe i gospodarskie tudzież hodowania i utrzymywania krów, cieląt, świń, indyków, kur, kaczek, gęsi itd. co do użytkowania owoców i jarzyn oraz tajemnice gospodarskie wedle sposobów najlepszych i najtańszych wypróbowanych przez doświadczone gospodynie wraz z „Dodatkiem” zawierającym pranie i prasowanie bielizny, materyi kolorowych, firanek itd.” Nakładem i drukiem Fr. Chocieszyńskiego. Poznań, 1889. 13. Sabir, S.M., Khan, M.F., Rocha, J.B.T., Boligon, A.A., Athayde, M.L., 2015. Phenolic profile, antioxidant activities and genotoxic evaluations of Calendula officinalis. J. Food Biochem. 39, 316–324. 14. BVL, 2014. List of Substances of the Competent Federal Government and Federal State Authorities: Category" Plants and Plant Parts". Springer, Cham Heidelberg New York, Dordrecht, London. 15. Miljø- og Fødevareministeriet, Fødevarestyrelsen. Planteliste - guide til vilde spiselige plante. https://www.foedevarestyrelsen.dk/Foedevarer/planteliste/Sider/default.aspx [02.12.2018]

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... Another issue regarding the safe use of edible flowers is that, considering the local or regional interest for many species, the available information about the precautions and the processing that may be needed prior to consumption is limited to languages other than English; therefore, all this scattered knowledge should be gathered and updated by scientists and provided in widely accepted languages [203]. Moreover, the same species, especially the wild ones, may have several common names, while several species with different chemical profiles may be known under the same common name, which could result in misidentification [204]. ...
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Edible flowers are becoming very popular, as consumers are seeking healthier and more attractive food products that can improve their diet aesthetics and diversify their dietary sources of micronutrients. The great variety of flowers that can be eaten is also associated with high variability in chemical composition, especially in bioactive compounds content that may significantly contribute to human health. The advanced analytical techniques allowed us to reveal the chemical composition of edible flowers and identify new compounds and effects that were not known until recently. Considering the numerous species of edible flowers, the present review aims to categorize the various species depending on their chemical composition and also to present the main groups of compounds that are usually present in the species that are most commonly used for culinary purposes. Moreover, special attention is given to those species that contain potentially toxic or poisonous compounds as their integration in human diets should be carefully considered. In conclusion, the present review provides useful information regarding the chemical composition and the main groups of chemical compounds that are present in the flowers of the most common species.
... Flowers contain a great variety of bioactive compounds, which have played a role distinct from those of other plant tissues in human health, and there is an increasing global demand for edible flowers (Lu et al., 2016;Fernandes, 2017;Pires et al., 2019). However, there are a series of controversies in this field, regarding the scope or definition of edible flowers, the lack of global access to locally published records or those in minority languages, the safety issues concerning the chemical and toxicological background of specific edible plant parts, the intersection of native practice and exotic culinary context, the presence of consumers who are sensitive to a particular chemical, and the differences between the theoretical intake limit and the actual amounts eaten (Egebjerg et al., , 2019Kalemba-Drożdż, 2019). Addressing all of these controversies relies on thorough and solid preliminary work, particularly ethnobotanical surveys, following by targeted research into phytochemistry and toxicology. ...
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Ethnopharmacological relevance Plants from the family Ericaceae, and in particular those in the genus Rhododendron are frequently reported to contain grayanotoxins. Plant products such as honey and herbal medicines made from these plants occasionally contain grayanotoxins, and in turn may lead to intoxication. The balance between the benefits and risk of poisoning from Rhododendrons is of concerns. This study explores the ethnobotanical knowledge of the people in Yunnan, China as regards the consumption of Rhododendron flowers, and gives special focus to their assessment of the benefit-risk balance. Materials and Methods An ethnobotanical survey was conducted across 14 county-level local markets in north and central Yunnan province, during which a total of 82 stalls selling Rhododendron flowers were visited and 204 people were interviewed. Voucher specimens were obtained under the guidance of collectors, and details about local practices and knowledge were recorded using semi-structured interviews and participatory observations. Results The consumption of the corollas of Rhododendron decorum Franch. flowers (RDf) or Rhododendron pachypodum Balf. f. & W.W. Sm. flowers (RPf) as a seasonal delicacy is a long-standing tradition in the study area. RDf are widely consumed in northwest and northeast Yunnan, while RPf are more prevalent in the central regions of Yunnan, and there is a high consistency in the knowledge of the process for detoxification or palatability for each species. The main reasons for eating the flowers were listed as health benefits (mostly clear heat), wild collected, tradition and good flavor. All RPf consumers stated that the corolla from this species is not toxic, while 67.4% of the RDf consumers claim that the corolla from RDf is toxic. We compared the two species and analyzed their process intensities, poisoning cases and cautions, market trade forms and existing toxicity studies, which agreed well and consistently that the corolla of RDf deserve more toxicity attention than RPf. Conclusion Our study provides a window to look into the ways, beyond honey and herbal medicine, by which Rhododendron species have influenced human wellbeing. The local culture can justify eating Rhododendron flowers, and meanwhile, has developed a series of skills to avoid the side effects of eating them, and therefore the study also provides a good case to answer more general questions about the rationality of eating any plant products by assessing the trade-off between benefits and side effects.
... Pomimo ogromu pracy, jaką wykonali autorzy analizując zawartość talerzy w 150 restauracjach, artykuł obarczony jest licznymi nieścisłościami i tendencyjnością wnioskowania wskazującą, że niektóre kwiaty podawane w restauracjach nie są bezpieczne do spożycia. Ze względu na sensację, jaką wzbudziła notka prasowa dotycząca tego artykułu w Polsce, warto wyjaśnić występujące w nim nieścisłości, by nie wzbudzać paniki odnośnie stosowania jadalnych kwiatów, które nie tylko są bezpieczne do spożycia, ale też włączenie ich do diety może przynieść wymierne korzyści zdrowotne (Kalemba-Drożdż & Cierniak 2019, Kalemba-Drożdż 2019. ...
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Jesienią 2018 r. w Food and Chemical Toxicology ukazał się artykuł na temat bezpieczeństwa spożycia kwiatów serwowanych w duńskich restauracjach pt.: “Are wild and cultivated flowers served in restaurants or sold by local producers in Denmark safe for the consumer?” autorstwa: Mikael M. Egebjerg, Pelle T. Olesen, Folmer D. Eriksen, Gitte Ravn-Haren, Lea Bredsdorff i Kirsten Pilegaard z Technical University of Denmark. Pomimo ogromu pracy, jaką wykonali autorzy analizując zawartość talerzy w 150 restauracjach, artykuł obarczony jest licznymi nieścisłościami i tendencyjnością wnioskowania wskazującą, że niektóre kwiaty podawane w restauracjach nie są bezpieczne do spożycia. Ze względu na sensację, jaką wzbudziła notka prasowa dotycząca tego artykułu w Polsce, warto wyjaśnić występujące w nim nieścisłości, by nie wzbudzać paniki odnośnie stosowania jadalnych kwiatów, które nie tylko są bezpieczne do spożycia, ale też włączenie ich do diety może przynieść wymierne korzyści zdrowotne.
Article
Background The search for a healthier lifestyles and changing eating habits, have placed viable and safer alternatives products in the market. In particular, edible flowers are used to make dishes more attractive, by adding color, flavor and other sensory characteristics, thus also presenting in their composition bioactive compounds, such as polyphenols, that may provide beneficial health effects. Scope and approach This review deals with the production, harvesting and storage of wild edible flowers, as well as aspects concerning their processing, packaging and consumption. Moreover, the most abundant bioactive molecules, namely phenolic compounds and more particularly anthocyanins, are also reviewed. Some extraction techniques, such as Solid-Liquid extraction (SLE), Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SFE), Ultrasound Assisted Extraction (UAE), Pressurized Liquid Extraction (PLE) and Microwave Assisted Extraction (MAE) are discussed, as also the most convenient solvents used. Particular focus is employed on the anthocyanins present in edible flowers. Key findings and conclusions The presence of phenolic compounds has attracted the interest not only of the consumers, but also of the food industry, due to their potential to be used as natural additives, namely as preservatives and colorants, that can be applied as an alternative to substitute their artificial counterparts. The major phenolic acids found in edible flowers are caffeoylquinic acids, while cyanidin-3-O-glucoside is the main anthocyanin. Methanol and acetone were the most common solvents to extract polyphenols and solid-liquid extractions are the most common methodology applied. Only a small part of edible flowers has been explored, being required more studies, so that they can be used with total efficiency.
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