Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is a plant well known in traditional medicine for its many beneficial properties, but the lack of standardization regarding the product to offer to consumers limits its diffusion. To this end, drying appears to be a useful technique to offer a low-cost product that can be stored for long time, but the different drying procedures may give rise to end-products of very different quality as nutraceutical and antioxidant compounds. Nettle leaves have been dehydrated employing freeze-drying (FD), oven-drying (OD) or heat pump drying (HPD) and compared with fresh leaves following water extraction to emulate the use by final consumers. Results indicate that the best dehydration technique is HPD, which apparently gives rise to more than a doubling of total phenols and antioxidant activity in the extract compared to the water extract obtained from fresh leaves but a reduction in the level of ascorbic acid of about 39%. In addition, the content of some phenolic compounds is 10 to over a hundred times higher in the extract after HPD than that obtained from fresh samples. This confirms that the dehydration technique should be tuned in relation to the compounds of greatest interest or value.

Effect of drying methods on phenolic compounds and antioxidant activity of Urtica dioica L. leaves

Ceccanti C.;Incrocci L.;Pardossi A.;Guidi L.
2021-01-01

Abstract

Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is a plant well known in traditional medicine for its many beneficial properties, but the lack of standardization regarding the product to offer to consumers limits its diffusion. To this end, drying appears to be a useful technique to offer a low-cost product that can be stored for long time, but the different drying procedures may give rise to end-products of very different quality as nutraceutical and antioxidant compounds. Nettle leaves have been dehydrated employing freeze-drying (FD), oven-drying (OD) or heat pump drying (HPD) and compared with fresh leaves following water extraction to emulate the use by final consumers. Results indicate that the best dehydration technique is HPD, which apparently gives rise to more than a doubling of total phenols and antioxidant activity in the extract compared to the water extract obtained from fresh leaves but a reduction in the level of ascorbic acid of about 39%. In addition, the content of some phenolic compounds is 10 to over a hundred times higher in the extract after HPD than that obtained from fresh samples. This confirms that the dehydration technique should be tuned in relation to the compounds of greatest interest or value.
2021
Garcia, L. M.; Ceccanti, C.; Negro, C.; De Bellis, L.; Incrocci, L.; Pardossi, A.; Guidi, L.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1126608
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