QUANTITATIVE ESTIMATION OF MINERAL CONTENT FROM EDIBLE FLOWERS OF ALLIUM CEPA, CUCURBITA MAXIMA AND CARICA PAPAYA: A COMPARATIVE STUDYAbstract
Edible flowers have been an integral part of human nutrition for centuries, being used as garnishes of individual dishes and also consumed fresh. This study determines and compares the essential and trace mineral composition of the three edible flowers of Allium cepa (onion), Carica papaya (papaya) and Cucurbita maxima (pumpkin) with four other commonly consumed edible flowers. Also, a comparative study of the three above-mentioned edible flowers with its respective fruit and leafy parts has been carried out. Macro-mineral and trace mineral contents were estimated by means of Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectroscopy following the Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC, 1990) method. Amongst the three chosen edible flowers, onion flowers contain the highest amount of potassium, calcium, sodium, zinc, and sulphur content, while the pumpkin flowers have the highest quantity of copper. Onion flowers have the highest quantity of calcium and manganese when compared to their stalk and bulb. Papaya flowers are a rich source of phosphorous and copper compared to their fruit and leaf counterparts. The test flower’s average sodium and potassium content are nutritionally sufficient and can be consumed for their high calcium and potassium content. Notably, Allium cepa flower is the only edible flower in this study with a detectable level of sulphur content. The results conclude that Allium cepa, Cucurbita maxima, and Carica papaya flowers are a potential source of microelements, and their consumption may open a new dimension to our nutrition security.
Shreyasi Halder * and Kazi Layla Khaled
Nutrition Research Laboratory, University of Calcutta, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
18 August 2021
14 September 2021
17 September 2021
01 May 2022