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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Analyses for Flavonoid Aglycones in Fresh and Preserved Hibiscus Flowers

Authors
item Puckhaber, Lorraine
item Stipanovic, Robert
item Bost, Georgia - THE VILLAGE BOTANICA

Submitted to: Trends in New Crops and New Uses
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 3, 2002
Publication Date: June 8, 2002
Citation: PUCKHABER, L.S., STIPANOVIC, R.D., BOST, G.A. ANALYSES FOR FLAVONOID AGLYCONES IN FRESH AND PRESERVED HIBISCUS FLOWERS. TRENDS IN NEW CROPS AND NEW USES. 2002. v. 50. p. 7017-7021.

Interpretive Summary: Agriculturists are attempting to utilize the flower petals from Hibiscus as a healthy food option. However, a detailed analysis of the chemical composition of the flower petals for most cultivars is unknown. We analyzed 29 cultivars from North America, Asia and from the Pacific Islands. Specifically, the chemical composition of compounds that act as antioxidants, called flavanols, were determined. This is the first step in establishing the nutritional value of these flower petals.

Technical Abstract: In the past, perennial and temperate-zone tree-form Hibiscus species and hybrids have been relegated to the status of little-known garden plants, at least in the United States. However, their potential as a new source of edible flowers and natural food colorants (all within the anthocyanin class of edible flower pigments) elevates them to the status as'possibly the newest'of the New Crops. The 17 indigenous native Hibiscus species of North America range from USDA Zones 4'10 and, in the wild, are confined to wetland areas. In cultivation, the plants are installed in permanent plantations, using zero-runoff protocols under passive flooding, or drip irrigation protocols. Other hardy perennial and tree-form species from Asia, including H. mutabilis, H. syriacus, and the Pan-Pacific species H. hamabo and H. tileaceous are suitable for USDA Zones 8'10. Potential products from these cultivars include fresh food (primarily edible flowers for the restaurant trade) and natural food colorants, as well as edible seed meals and seed proteins (for nutraceutical applications), seed oils, lubricants, and fiber, mucilages and complex polysaccharides from fruiting organs, roots, canes, and/or branches. In this paper, the flowers of selected native North American, non-native Asiatic and pan-Pacific species and North American hybrid cultivars were selected for preliminary analysis of pigments. In addition, some non-Hibiscus genera of Malvaceae that are native to the US were also analyzed, including Kosteletzkya virginica (pink with yellow eye), Malvaviscus arboreus drummondii (solid orange), Pavonia lasiopetalus (solid pink), and Sida spinosa (solid yellow). Non-native Malvaceae used in the analyses included Abelmoschus moschatus (two forms, orange and red, tropical Asia), H. calyphyllus (yellow, Madagscar), H. mutabilis (peach, China), H. paramutabilis (red, China), H. rosa-sinensis (orange, pan-Pacific), H. syriacus (blue, China), and M. arboreus mexicana (orange, Central Americas). Our methods and the results of the analyses are detailed.

Last Modified: 11/27/2014
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