The use of edible flowers in cooking dates back to ancient times, but recently it is gaining success among the consumers, increasingly attentive to healthy and sustainable foods of high quality, without neglecting taste, flavour, and visual appeal. The present study aims to deepen the knowledge regarding the mineral composition of edible flowers, an aspect not widely investigated in scientific literature. The concentrations of Cd, Co, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sr, V, and Zn have been determined by Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry (ICP OES) in flowers belonging to a wide variety of species. The study highlights that some floral species are characterized by significantly higher concentrations of certain trace elements, e.g., the flowers of Acmella oleracea for Mn, those of basil (Ocimum basilicum) and of pumpkins (Cucurbita moschata and C. pepo) for Cu and Sr, and those of orange daylily Hemerocallis fulva) for Ni. Potentially toxic elements are present at low concentrations, often below the limit of the detection for Cd, Co, Ni, V. In all samples, Cd and Pb are well below the maximum permitted levels in foodstuffs. It can be concluded that the edible flowers analyzed can be considered a good source of essential elements and do not present risks for the consumer health as for the mineral composition.

Trace Elements in Edible Flowers from Italy: Further Insights into Health Benefits and Risks to Consumers

Drava Giuliana;Iobbi Valeria;Minganti Vincenzo;Bisio Angela
2020

Abstract

The use of edible flowers in cooking dates back to ancient times, but recently it is gaining success among the consumers, increasingly attentive to healthy and sustainable foods of high quality, without neglecting taste, flavour, and visual appeal. The present study aims to deepen the knowledge regarding the mineral composition of edible flowers, an aspect not widely investigated in scientific literature. The concentrations of Cd, Co, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sr, V, and Zn have been determined by Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry (ICP OES) in flowers belonging to a wide variety of species. The study highlights that some floral species are characterized by significantly higher concentrations of certain trace elements, e.g., the flowers of Acmella oleracea for Mn, those of basil (Ocimum basilicum) and of pumpkins (Cucurbita moschata and C. pepo) for Cu and Sr, and those of orange daylily Hemerocallis fulva) for Ni. Potentially toxic elements are present at low concentrations, often below the limit of the detection for Cd, Co, Ni, V. In all samples, Cd and Pb are well below the maximum permitted levels in foodstuffs. It can be concluded that the edible flowers analyzed can be considered a good source of essential elements and do not present risks for the consumer health as for the mineral composition.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11567/1017577
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