Influence of the drying method in the antioxidant potential and chemical composition of four shrubby flowering plants from the tribe Genisteae (Fabaceae)

Food Chem Toxicol. 2011 Nov;49(11):2983-9. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2011.07.054. Epub 2011 Jul 24.


Flowers from several common Mediterranean shrubs, such as those from the Cytisus genus and Genista genus (tribe Genisteae/Fabaceae) have long been used for medicinal purposes and seasoning in the northeastern Portuguese region. Despite, the shade-drying traditionally used to process these plants, freeze-drying is claimed to better preserve the quality of medicinal plants. Herein, the effects of drying process in the antioxidants composition and properties of Cytisus multiflorus, Cytisus scoparius, Cytisus striatus and Pterospartum tridentatum were evaluated. Freeze-dried P. tridentatum revealed the highest antioxidant properties (EC(50) values ≤ 0.15 mg/ml). Freeze-drying benefits were confirmed showing, the samples submitted to this process, higher antioxidant activity and higher concentrations of hydrophilic (phenolics, ascorbic acid and sugars) and lipophilic (tocopherols, chlorophylls and lycopene) compounds. This process could be applied in scale-up treatments of the studied plants for cosmetic or pharmaceutical applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / chemistry*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Desiccation / methods*
  • Fabaceae / chemistry*
  • Flowers / chemistry
  • Freeze Drying
  • Medicine, Traditional
  • Plants, Medicinal / chemistry
  • Water


  • Antioxidants
  • Water