Saffron from the province of L'Aquila, in the Abruzzo region of Italy, is highly prized and has been awarded a formal recognition by the European Union with EU Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status. Despite this, the saffron regions are abandoned by the younger generations because the traditional cultivation of saffron (Crocus sativus L.) is labour intensive and yields only one crop of valuable saffron stamens per year. Petals of the saffron Crocus have had additional uses in traditional medicine and may add value to the crops for local farmers. This is especially important because the plant only flowers between October and November, and farmers will need to make the best use of the flowers harvested in this period. Recently, the petals of C. sativus L., which are considered a waste material in the production of saffron spice, were identified as a potential source of natural antioxidants. The antioxidants crocin and kaempferol were purified by flash column chromatography, and identified by thin layer chromatography (TLC), HPLC-DAD, infrared (IR), and nuclear magnetic resonance ((1)H &(13)C NMR) spectroscopy. The antioxidant activity was determined with the ABTS and DPPH tests. The antioxidant activities are mainly attributed to carotenoid and flavonoid compounds, notably glycosides of crocin and kaempferol. We found in dried petals 0.6% (w/w) and 12.6 (w/w) of crocin and kaempferol, respectively. Petals of C. sativus L. have commercial potential as a source for kaempferol and crocetin glycosides, natural compounds with antioxidant activity that are considered to be the active ingredients in saffron-based herbal medicine.

Petals of Crocus sativus L. as a potential source of the antioxidants crocin and kaempferol

ZEKA, KETI;CONTINENZA, Maria Adelaide;VEGLIO', FRANCESCO;
2015-01-01

Abstract

Saffron from the province of L'Aquila, in the Abruzzo region of Italy, is highly prized and has been awarded a formal recognition by the European Union with EU Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status. Despite this, the saffron regions are abandoned by the younger generations because the traditional cultivation of saffron (Crocus sativus L.) is labour intensive and yields only one crop of valuable saffron stamens per year. Petals of the saffron Crocus have had additional uses in traditional medicine and may add value to the crops for local farmers. This is especially important because the plant only flowers between October and November, and farmers will need to make the best use of the flowers harvested in this period. Recently, the petals of C. sativus L., which are considered a waste material in the production of saffron spice, were identified as a potential source of natural antioxidants. The antioxidants crocin and kaempferol were purified by flash column chromatography, and identified by thin layer chromatography (TLC), HPLC-DAD, infrared (IR), and nuclear magnetic resonance ((1)H &(13)C NMR) spectroscopy. The antioxidant activity was determined with the ABTS and DPPH tests. The antioxidant activities are mainly attributed to carotenoid and flavonoid compounds, notably glycosides of crocin and kaempferol. We found in dried petals 0.6% (w/w) and 12.6 (w/w) of crocin and kaempferol, respectively. Petals of C. sativus L. have commercial potential as a source for kaempferol and crocetin glycosides, natural compounds with antioxidant activity that are considered to be the active ingredients in saffron-based herbal medicine.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11697/95216
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