Abstract: Despite the beneficial health properties shown by Lebanese saffron, its qualitative and quantitative composition has never been investigated before. In the present study, NMR spectroscopy, together with antioxidant activity assays, were applied to evaluate the chemical composition of saffron samples of different geographical origins (Lebanon, Italy, Iran, and India) and to categorize the Lebanese saffron for the first time. The distinction between Lebanese saffron and that produced in other countries was attributed to its higher linolenic and linoleic fatty acids, glucose and picrocrocin contents. Moreover, spices produced in three different regions of the Lebanese territory have been clearly differentiated. Saffron cultivated in the Qaa region displayed a high glucose, fatty acids and polyphenols content, whereas Hermel saffron exhibited the largest rate of picrocrocin and glycosylated carotenoids. Finally, samples from Baalbeck showed lower rates for the majority of metabolites. Moreover, Lebanese saffron showed a high antioxidant activity in ABTS and DPPH assays. A low dose of saffron extract (10 µg/mL) inhibited the growth of human lung adenocarcinoma cells, probably due to the high polyphenolic content. This study highlights the quality and peculiarity of Lebanese saffron cultivated in Northern Beqaa district and allows for a good discrimination between spices produced in relatively close territory.

1H-NMR Metabolic Profiling and Antioxidant Activity of Saffron (Crocus sativus) Cultivated in Lebanon

Luigi Menghini
Penultimo
;
2021-01-01

Abstract

Abstract: Despite the beneficial health properties shown by Lebanese saffron, its qualitative and quantitative composition has never been investigated before. In the present study, NMR spectroscopy, together with antioxidant activity assays, were applied to evaluate the chemical composition of saffron samples of different geographical origins (Lebanon, Italy, Iran, and India) and to categorize the Lebanese saffron for the first time. The distinction between Lebanese saffron and that produced in other countries was attributed to its higher linolenic and linoleic fatty acids, glucose and picrocrocin contents. Moreover, spices produced in three different regions of the Lebanese territory have been clearly differentiated. Saffron cultivated in the Qaa region displayed a high glucose, fatty acids and polyphenols content, whereas Hermel saffron exhibited the largest rate of picrocrocin and glycosylated carotenoids. Finally, samples from Baalbeck showed lower rates for the majority of metabolites. Moreover, Lebanese saffron showed a high antioxidant activity in ABTS and DPPH assays. A low dose of saffron extract (10 µg/mL) inhibited the growth of human lung adenocarcinoma cells, probably due to the high polyphenolic content. This study highlights the quality and peculiarity of Lebanese saffron cultivated in Northern Beqaa district and allows for a good discrimination between spices produced in relatively close territory.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/755981
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