fruit processing generates high amounts of by-products, mostly bur. Currently, the cosmetic industry has a great interest in natural extracts as antioxidant sources. In the present study, C. sativa
bur extract was used as the active ingredient, in different amounts, in topical hydrogels. The formulations were characterized regarding total phenolic and flavonoid contents (TPC and TFC, respectively), antioxidant activity (DPPH radical scavenging capacity and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP)) and technological and microbiological properties. The same parameters were evaluated after 30 days of storage at 4 °C (T30/4
°C) and 20 °C (T30/20
°C). At time 0 (T0
), the TPC ranged between 0.79 and 9.65 mg of gallic acid equivalents (GAE)/g gel, while TFC varied from 0.05 to 1.23 mg of catechin equivalents (CAE)/g gel. Antioxidant activity was high for both assays, with values at T0
ranging between 98.41 and 1013.43 µmol of ferrous sulphate equivalents (FSE)/g gel and varying between 431.96 and 990.84 µg of Trolox equivalents (TE)/g gel for FRAP and DPPH assays, respectively. No formulation exceeded the defined criteria in microbiological counts. All formulations showed similar technological profiles but particular attention should be given to pH. The gel with 50% of extract (F3) was selected as the best one for potential cosmetic applications.
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