Health attributes of ten Mediterranean edible flowers: anti-proliferative and enzyme-inhibitory properties

Document Type: Original Article


Institute of Food Science, CNR-ISA, Via Roma 64, 83100, Avellino, Italy


Edible flowers represent an important source of biologically active compounds with positive effects on consumer health. In fact, they contain high quantities of natural antioxidants and have been used since ancient times not only to prepare traditional recipes but also as a remedy against some common illnesses. In the current report, the extracts of ten Mediterranean edible flowers were analyzed to determine their relevant vitamin C, chlorophylls, carotenoids, proanthocyanidins, flavonoids, anthocyanins and total phenolics contents. They were also assayed in vitro for inhibitory effects on digestive enzymes relevant to carbohydrates metabolism and for anti-proliferative activity on CaCo2 colon cancer cell line. Accordingly, the extracts inhibited the a-glucosidase activity in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) ranged from 12.5 ± 1.9 to 132 ± 3.2 mg/mL, while for the anti-proliferative activity IC50 values varied from 24.26 ± 4.5 to 106.3 ± 5.7 mg/mL. In view of the obtained results, the use of these flowers provides important functional ingredients as well as contributing to the realization of delicate and more appealing flavor recipes.

Graphical Abstract

Health attributes of ten Mediterranean edible flowers: anti-proliferative and enzyme-inhibitory properties


Main Subjects

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