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Open AccessArticle

Aloe vera Flowers, a Byproduct with Great Potential and Wide Application, Depending on Maturity Stage

1
Food Quality and Health Group, Institute of Plant Biotechnology, Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena (UPCT), Campus Muralla del Mar, 30202 Cartagena, Spain
2
Postharvest and Refrigeration Group, Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería Agronómica (ETSIA), UPCT, Paseo Alfonso XIII, 48, 30203 Cartagena, Spain
3
Servicio de Apoyo a la Investigación Tecnológica (Support Service for Technological Research), UPCT, Campus Muralla del Mar, 30202 Cartagena, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Foods 2020, 9(11), 1542; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9111542
Received: 13 September 2020 / Revised: 19 October 2020 / Accepted: 23 October 2020 / Published: 26 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive/Nutraceutical Compounds in Plant Foods)
Flowers of Aloe vera are a byproduct providing a valuable source of bioactive compounds with different functions for health benefits. The characterization in amino acids, organic acids, sugars, trigonelline, volatiles compounds, fatty acids, total phenolic, carotenoids, vitamin C content, and antioxidant capacity of Aloe flowers (Aloe barbadensis Miller) has been studied at three maturity stages (I: immature; II: mature; III: mature, with flowers buds opened). Immature flowers presented the highest content in phenyl alanine, tyrosine, citric acid, trigonelline, carotenoids, retinol activity equivalent, vitamin C, and total phenolic and antioxidant capacity. As the flower develops, the content of these compounds decreases. Aloe vera flowers presented an important content in fatty acids, and the principal concentration was identified in polyunsaturated unsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) as α-linolenic acid, and linoleic acid, with a ratio close to one. The main saturated fatty acid was palmitic acid, followed by stearic acid. Maturity stage III showed the lowest fatty acid content. The bioactive compounds found in Aloe vera flowers have potential applications in the cosmetic, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and food industries. Depending on the compound of interest, it could be worthwhile harvesting flowers at maturity stage I, thereby reducing the energy consumption of flowers from the plant and thus favoring plant development. This is an example of a circular economy for Aloe vera producers, generating economic and business opportunities and thus providing environmental and social benefits. View Full-Text
Keywords: omega-3; trigonelline; residue; sábila; crassulaceae; added-value products omega-3; trigonelline; residue; sábila; crassulaceae; added-value products
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MDPI and ACS Style

Martínez-Sánchez, A.; López-Cañavate, M.E.; Guirao-Martínez, J.; Roca, M.J.; Aguayo, E. Aloe vera Flowers, a Byproduct with Great Potential and Wide Application, Depending on Maturity Stage. Foods 2020, 9, 1542. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9111542

AMA Style

Martínez-Sánchez A, López-Cañavate ME, Guirao-Martínez J, Roca MJ, Aguayo E. Aloe vera Flowers, a Byproduct with Great Potential and Wide Application, Depending on Maturity Stage. Foods. 2020; 9(11):1542. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9111542

Chicago/Turabian Style

Martínez-Sánchez, Ascensión; López-Cañavate, María E.; Guirao-Martínez, Josefa; Roca, María J.; Aguayo, Encarna. 2020. "Aloe vera Flowers, a Byproduct with Great Potential and Wide Application, Depending on Maturity Stage" Foods 9, no. 11: 1542. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9111542

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