High throughput analytical approach based on μQuEChERS combined with UHPLC-PDA for analysis of bioactive secondary metabolites in edible flowers
Mallow blue (Malva sylvestris L.), hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L.) and nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus L.), are common edible flowers rich in bioactive secondary metabolites (BASMs) whose use in sophisticated gastronomy present currently as increasing trend. In this study the BASMs profile of these edible flowers was established using an emerging green extraction technique, μQuEChERS followed by ultra-high performance liquid chromatography coupled to a photodiode array detection system (UHPLC-PDA). After validation the μQuEChERS/UHPLC-PDA methodology allow to identify that apigenin and epigallocatechin gallate are the most abundant BASMs in mallow blue flowers, while catechin and dicaffeoylquinic acid are predominant in hibiscus flowers, and myricitrin and dicaffeoylquinic acid in nasturtium flowers. Total polyphenol content is the highest in the extract of hibiscus. Nasturtium shows the greatest radical scavenging activity. The results revealed that these flowers constitute a potential source of BASMs with different bioactive properties suggesting its use in design of new functional foods.
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