Waste Biomass Valorization. 2022 Nov 17:1-17. doi: 10.1007/s12649-022-01964-x. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE: After being considered as a neglected product, agricultural waste is nowadays considered of paramount importance. It has become a source of many chemical compounds with industrial, pharmaceutical, and food applications. This study aims to evaluate the primary phytochemical content, the antioxidant properties, and the antimicrobial activities of different extracts of saffron flower waste (SFE) against bacterial and fungal strains involved in diverse pathologies in southern Morocco.
METHODS: Total phenolic and flavonoid contents were determined. The antioxidant potentials were assessed by DPPH, FRAP, and β-carotene assays. The antimicrobial activity against four bacteria and four fungi was also evaluated. The findings in terms of the relationships between phytochemical content and all activities were depicted by PCA analyses.
RESULTS: SFEs contained large amounts of phenolic and flavonoid compounds that contribute to the significant antioxidant activities. Diethyl ether (DE), n-Butanol (n-B), and Ethyl acetate (EA) fractions respectively exhibited more DPPH scavenging capacity, FRAP reducing power, and β-carotene bleaching inhibition. DE and EA have a remarkable effect mainly against Staphylococcus aureus strain, compared to Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Both SFEs showed antifungal antagonism towards key fungi species involved in post-harvest mold and crop yield losses. Botrytis cinerea was more susceptible than Fusarium solani, Penicillium expansum, and Penicillium digitatum.
CONCLUSION: These results reveal new data about extracts obtained from SFE that could be a potential source of natural antioxidant and antimicrobial agents opening new possibilities for their applications in the food system as a natural preservative and a sustainable alternative to conventional ingredients.