Extraction of phenolic and flavonoid compounds and evaluation of their antioxidant activity in saffron anthers (Crocus sativus L.)


  • Huda Enaya MAHOOD University of Al-Qadisiyah, College of Biotechnology, Department of Agriculture, Al Diwaniyah 58002 (IQ)
  • Ali Amer DAHHAM University of Al-Qadisiyah, College of Agriculture, Department of Horticulture, Al Diwaniyah 58002 (IQ)
  • Virginia SARROPOULOU Hellenic Agricultural Organization (ELGO)-DIMITRA, Institute of Plant Breeding and Genetic Resources, Thessaloniki 570 01 (GR)
  • Thiresia-Teresa TZATZANI Hellenic Agricultural Organization (ELGO)-DIMITRA, Institute of Olive Tree, Subtropical Crops & Viticulture, Laboratory of Subtropical Plants & Tissue Culture, Chania 73134 (GR)




DPPH free radical scavenging, extraction solvents, medicinal plant, reversed-phase HPLC, saffron flower parts, secondary metabolites


Saffron (Crocus sativus L.) is the most expensive spice in the world and rich in a variety of bioactive compounds including phenolic acids, flavonoids, and vitamins. Saffron is used in food, cosmetics, perfumery, and dye industries due to its color, taste, aroma, and medicinal properties. The extraction of bioactive compounds imposes a constant search for economically and environmentally viable extraction strategies for higher yields including the solvent type. The research was carried out to evaluate total phenolic content (TPC), total flavonoid content (TFC), and antioxidant activity of C. sativus L. anthers using different extraction solvents including ethanol, methanol, and distilled water. The results showed that ethanol was the most effective extraction solvent type exhibiting the highest TPC (7.29 mg GAE g-1 DW), TFC (3.77 mg QE g-1 DW), and antioxidant activity of flavonoids (88%) and ascorbic acid (76.07%). Flavonoids proved to be stronger antioxidants than ascorbic acid, irrespective of solvent type, however the ethanolic extracts showed significantly higher antioxidant activity. A Reverse Phase High-Performance Liquid Chromatography method revealed that gallic acid (3.1 mg g-1), syringic acid (0.2 mg g-1), and vanillic acid (0.13 mg g-1) were the main phenolic compounds detected in the dried anther ethanolic extracts, while quercetin (2.13 mg g-1), pyrogallol (1.73 mg g-1), kaempferol (1.2 mg g-1), rutin (0.2 mg g-1), and tricin (0.1 mg g-1) the main flavonoid compounds. Thus, apart from the spice, constituted by the red stigmas, the production of other flower parts such as the anthers, so far considered agricultural waste can constitute a rich source of bioactive compounds of high antioxidant potential by setting quality standards for new products’ development and ensuring better valorization of saffron’s bioresidues in Mashhad region of Iran.


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How to Cite

MAHOOD, H. E., DAHHAM, A. A., SARROPOULOU, V., & TZATZANI, T.-T. (2023). Extraction of phenolic and flavonoid compounds and evaluation of their antioxidant activity in saffron anthers (Crocus sativus L.). Notulae Scientia Biologicae, 15(4), 11640. https://doi.org/10.55779/nsb15411640



Research articles
DOI: 10.55779/nsb15411640