The Unexplored Potential of Edible Flowers Lipids
Abstract, Agriculture, 2018
Edible flowers have been historically linked to traditional world cuisine and culture. They are often used as ingredients in food and beverages for medicinal or pharmaceutical purposes. However, little attention has been paid to the quality of their lipids, and therefore to their potential for oil extraction and use in the food and food supplements industries. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the lipid composition of several edible flowers, including fat content, fatty acids, vitamin E, and carotenoids profiles. Edible flower lipids were found to be rich in linoleic (C18:2) and -linolenic (C18:3) acids, which are essential fatty acids. Furthermore, most flowers are a good source of -tocopherol and xanthophylls, such as lutein and zeaxanthin. This review provides valuable information on the lipid profile of some edible flowers in order to better characterize them and to increase their popularization among the food industry and consumers, boosting agriculture demand for these products.
Keywords: edible flowers; lipid composition; fatty acids; tocopherols; carotenoids