Nutritional and Biological Value of Five Edible Flower Species
The introduction of edible flowers into our menu and their consumption significantly increases as a result of decorative, taste or aroma qualities. Current research on the chemical composition of edible flowers indicates a high content of vitamins, mineral compounds, essential oils, fibre, mucilage and other compounds characterized by a very high antioxidant activity. The aim of the experiment was to compare the nutritional value and antioxidant activity of three annual and two perennial ornamental plant species with edible flowers: Mimulus x hybridus L. ‘Magic Yellow’ and ‘Magic Red’, Antirrhinum majus L. ‘Cavalier’, Dianthus chinensis L. ‘Chianti’, Hemerocallis x hybrida Hort. and Monarda didyma L. Among the edible flower species compared in the study, M. didyma L. showed the highest nutritional value and antioxidant activity (DPPH and ABTS). While flowers of D. chinensis L. ‘Chianti’ were characterized by highest content of antioxidants such as L-ascorbic acid, total anthocyanins, total polyphenols and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP), H. × hybrida and A. majus L. ‘Cavalier’ flowers – by the highest content of total soluble sugars and sugar/acid ratio, and M. × hybridus L. ‘Magic Red’ and ‘Magic Yellow’ – by the highest content of total carotenoids.
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