First Insights on the Bioaccessibility and Absorption of Anthocyanins from Edible Flowers: Wild Pansy, Cosmos, and Cornflower

Margarida Teixeira, Lorenzo De Luca, Ana Faria, Matteo Bordiga, Victor de Freitas, Nuno Mateus, Hélder Oliveira

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Edible flowers are regaining interest among both the scientific community and the general population, not only for their appealing sensorial characteristics but also from the growing evidence about their health benefits. Among edible flowers, those that contain anthocyanins are among the most consumed worldwide. However, little is known regarding the bioaccessibility and absorption of their bioactive compounds upon ingestion. The aim of this work was to explore, for the first time, the behavior of anthocyanin-rich extracts from selected edible flowers under different food processing conditions and after ingestion using simulated digestions, as well as their absorption at the intestinal level. Overall, the results showed that the monoglucoside and rutinoside anthocyanin extracts were less stable under different pH, temperature, and time conditions as well as different digestive processes in the gastrointestinal tract. There was a prominent decrease in the free anthocyanin content after the intestinal phase, which was more pronounced for the rutinoside anthocyanin extract (78.41% decrease from the oral phase). In contrast, diglucoside and rutinoside anthocyanin extracts showed the highest absorption efficiencies at the intestinal level, of approximately 5% after 4 h of experiment. Altogether, the current results emphasize the influence of anthocyanins’ structural arrangement on both their chemical stability as well as their intestinal absorption. These results bring the first insights about the bioaccessibility and absorption of anthocyanins from wild pansy, cosmos, and cornflower and the potential outcomes of such alternative food sources.

Original languageEnglish
Article number191
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024


  • anthocyanins
  • bioaccessibility
  • edible flowers
  • food processing
  • intestinal absorption


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