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.
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