Edible Flowers—A New Promising Source of Mineral Elements in Human Nutrition
Abstract, Molecules, 2012
On a global scale, people are demanding more attractive and tasty food. Both the quality of foodstuffs and aesthetic aspects contribute to the appearance of consumed meals. The attraction and appeal of individual dishes could be enhanced by edible flowers. New information concerning the composition and nutritional value of edible flowers is also important and represents a sufficient reason for their consumption. The aim of this study is to contribute to the popularization of some selected edible flowers of ornamental plants involving altogether 12 species. The flowers were used to determine their antioxidant capacity, which fluctuated between 4.21 and 6.96 g of ascorbic acid equivalents (AAE)/kg of fresh mass (FM). Correlation coefficients between antioxidant capacity and the contents of total phenolics and flavonoids were r2= 0.9705 and r2= 0.7861, respectively. Moreover, the results were supplemented with new data about the mineral composition of edible flowers (mostly, not found in the available literature). The highest levels of mineral elements were observed in the flowers of species Chrysanthemum, Dianthus or Viola. The most abundant element was potassium, the content of which ranged from 1,842.61 to 3,964.84 mg/kg of FM.
Keywords: edible flowers; antioxidants; phenolics; flavonoids; mineral elements