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Characterization of azorean plant leaves for sustainable valorization and future advanced applications in the food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-04-05, 09:01 authored by Jorge Gomes Lopes Barros, Raquel Fernandes, Ana Abraão, Rui Dias Costa, Alfredo Aires, Irene Gouvinhas, Daniel GranatoDaniel Granato, Ana Novo Barros

Abstract: The historical use of plants as sources of natural compounds has persisted over time. Increasing the intake of bioactive substances shows significant potential for promoting overall well-being and health. This study delves into the pigments, phenolic composition, and profile, along with antioxidant properties, of leaf extracts rich in bioactives from plants in the Azores region, contributing to sustainable primary food production. Analyses encompassed chlorophylls, carotenoids, total phenols, ortho-diphenols, and flavonoids, as well as antioxidant capacity assessment, polyphenolic profiling, and quantification. Psidium guajava L. and Smallanthus sonchifolius (Poepp.) H.Rob. exhibited elevated chlorophyll content, while Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott displayed the highest carotenoid levels. Annona cherimola Mill., Eriobotrya japonica (Thunb.) Lindl, and Psidium guajava L. demonstrated pronounced total phenols, ortho-diphenols, and flavonoids. These findings align with heightened antioxidant capacity. HPLC–DAD (high-performance liquid chromatography with diode-array detection) characterization unveiled elevated hydroxycinnamic acids in E. japonica and Ipomea batatas (L.) Lam. compared to A. cherimola Mill., while C. esculenta exhibited increased flavone content. Among the quantified compounds, flavonols were the ones that predominantly demonstrated contribution to the antioxidant capacity of these leaves. This research highlights Azorean leaf plants’ antioxidant potential, fostering natural product development for better health.



Antioxidants 13(3), 325



Other Funding information

FCT—Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology, under the project UIDB/04033/2020 (, PRT/BD/152099/2021

Sustainable development goals

  • (11) Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • (12) Responsible Consumption and Production

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  • Biological Sciences
  • School of Engineering

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