Reference Number: 460
Health: Gut Microbiome
Inclusions: Edible flowers
This study addresses the effects of gamma irradiation (1, 5 and 8 kGy) on color, organic acids, total phenolics, total flavonoids, and antioxidant activity of dwarf mallow (Malva neglecta Wallr.). Organic acids were analyzed by ultra fast liquid chromatography (UFLC) coupled to a photodiode array (PDA) detector. Total phenolics and flavonoids were measured by the Folin-Ciocalteu and aluminium chloride colorimetric methods, respectively. The antioxidant activity was evaluated based on the DPPH• scavenging activity, reducing power, ?-carotene bleaching inhibition and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) formation inhibition. Analyses were performed in the non-irradiated and irradiated plant material, as well as in decoctions obtained from the same samples. The total amounts of organic acids and phenolics recorded in decocted extracts were always higher than those found in the plant material or hydromethanolic extracts, respectively. The DPPH• scavenging activity and reducing power were also higher in decocted extracts. The assayed irradiation doses affected differently the organic acids profile. The levels of total phenolics and flavonoids were lower in the hydromethanolic extracts prepared from samples irradiated at 1 kGy (dose that induced color changes) and in decocted extracts prepared from those irradiated at 8 kGy. The last samples also showed a lower antioxidant activity. In turn, irradiation at 5 kGy favored the amounts of total phenolics and flavonoids. Overall, this study contributes to the understanding of the effects of irradiation in indicators of dwarf mallow quality, and highlighted the decoctions for its antioxidant properties.
Significance of this study to the baker:
Mallow flowers (Malva neglecta) are used within our botanical blends.
Mallow flowers are also known as common mallow in the US. The plant is consumed as food often, with its leaves etc all being edible. Historically, the leaves of the flower can be chewed medicinally for sore throats, and can be eaten raw or cooked. Here this invitro study demonstrates the flowers antioxidant properties with good levels of phenolics and organic acids. We were unable to find any human trials to demonstrate their impact on human health directly. Yet we know the polyphenols, responsible for the Mallow flowers antioxidant properties, are prebiotics and feed our beneficial gut microbiota so that we can reap further antioxidant and health benefits.