Tepals constitute the most abundant bio-residues of saffron (Crocus sativus L.). As they are a natural source of polyphenols with antioxidant properties, they could be processed to generate valuable biorefinery products for applications in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food industries, becoming a new source of income while reducing bio-waste. Proper storage of by-products is important in biorefining and dehydration is widely used in the herb sector, especially for highly perishable harvested flowers. This study aimed to deepen the phytochemical composition of dried saffron tepals and to investigate whether this was influenced by the extraction technique. In particular, the conventional maceration was compared with the Ultrasound Assisted Extraction (UAE), using different solvents (water and three methanol concentrations, i.e., 20%, 50%, and 80%). Compared to the spice, the dried saffron tepals showed a lower content of total phenolics (average value 1127.94 32.34 mg GAE 100 g1 DW) and anthocyanins (up to 413.30 137.16 mg G3G 100 g1 DW), but a higher antioxidant activity, which was measured through the FRAP, ABTS, and DPPH assays. The HPLC-DAD analysis detected some phenolic compounds (i.e., ferulic acid, isoquercitrin, and quercitrin) not previously found in fresh saffron tepals. Vitamin C, already discovered in the spice, was interestingly detected also in dried tepals. Regarding the extraction technique, in most cases, UAE with safer solvents (i.e., water or low percentage of methanol) showed results of phenolic compounds and vitamin C similar to maceration, allowing an improvement in extractions by halving the time. Thus, this study demonstrated that saffron tepals can be dried maintaining their quality and that green extractions can be adopted to obtain high yields of valuable antioxidant phytochemicals, meeting the requirement for a sustainable biorefining.

Sustainable processing of floral bio-residues of saffron (Crocus sativus l.) for valuable biorefinery products

Stefania Stelluti
First
;
Matteo Caser
;
Sonia Demasi;Valentina Scariot
Last
2021-01-01

Abstract

Tepals constitute the most abundant bio-residues of saffron (Crocus sativus L.). As they are a natural source of polyphenols with antioxidant properties, they could be processed to generate valuable biorefinery products for applications in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food industries, becoming a new source of income while reducing bio-waste. Proper storage of by-products is important in biorefining and dehydration is widely used in the herb sector, especially for highly perishable harvested flowers. This study aimed to deepen the phytochemical composition of dried saffron tepals and to investigate whether this was influenced by the extraction technique. In particular, the conventional maceration was compared with the Ultrasound Assisted Extraction (UAE), using different solvents (water and three methanol concentrations, i.e., 20%, 50%, and 80%). Compared to the spice, the dried saffron tepals showed a lower content of total phenolics (average value 1127.94 32.34 mg GAE 100 g1 DW) and anthocyanins (up to 413.30 137.16 mg G3G 100 g1 DW), but a higher antioxidant activity, which was measured through the FRAP, ABTS, and DPPH assays. The HPLC-DAD analysis detected some phenolic compounds (i.e., ferulic acid, isoquercitrin, and quercitrin) not previously found in fresh saffron tepals. Vitamin C, already discovered in the spice, was interestingly detected also in dried tepals. Regarding the extraction technique, in most cases, UAE with safer solvents (i.e., water or low percentage of methanol) showed results of phenolic compounds and vitamin C similar to maceration, allowing an improvement in extractions by halving the time. Thus, this study demonstrated that saffron tepals can be dried maintaining their quality and that green extractions can be adopted to obtain high yields of valuable antioxidant phytochemicals, meeting the requirement for a sustainable biorefining.
2021
10
1
15
https://www.mdpi.com/2223-7747/10/3/523/htm
dried tepals, total phenolic content, total anthocyanin content, antioxidant activity, vitamin C, ultrasound assisted extraction, biorefining
Stefania Stelluti, Matteo Caser, Sonia Demasi, Valentina Scariot
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/1781201
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