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Article

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

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Dipartimento di Farmacia, Università degli Studi di Genova, Viale Cembrano 4, 16148 Genova, Italy
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Biodiversity Informatics and Spatial Analysis, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Jodrell Laboratory, Kew Road, Richmond TW9 3DS, UK
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CREA Centro di Ricerca Orticoltura e Florovivaismo, Corso Inglesi 508, 18038 Sanremo, IM, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gavino Sanna
Molecules 2020, 25(12), 2891; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122891
Received: 19 May 2020 / Revised: 12 June 2020 / Accepted: 18 June 2020 / Published: 23 June 2020
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: essential elements; ICP OES; metals; mineral composition; toxic elements essential elements; ICP OES; metals; mineral composition; toxic elements
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MDPI and ACS Style

Drava, G.; Iobbi, V.; Govaerts, R.; Minganti, V.; Copetta, A.; Ruffoni, B.; Bisio, A. Trace Elements in Edible Flowers from Italy: Further Insights into Health Benefits and Risks to Consumers. Molecules 2020, 25, 2891. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122891

AMA Style

Drava G, Iobbi V, Govaerts R, Minganti V, Copetta A, Ruffoni B, Bisio A. Trace Elements in Edible Flowers from Italy: Further Insights into Health Benefits and Risks to Consumers. Molecules. 2020; 25(12):2891. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122891

Chicago/Turabian Style

Drava, Giuliana; Iobbi, Valeria; Govaerts, Rafaël; Minganti, Vincenzo; Copetta, Andrea; Ruffoni, Barbara; Bisio, Angela. 2020. "Trace Elements in Edible Flowers from Italy: Further Insights into Health Benefits and Risks to Consumers" Molecules 25, no. 12: 2891. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122891

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