Geographical characterization by MAE-HPLC and NIR methodologies and carbonic anhydrase inhibition of Saffron components

Food Chem. 2017 Apr 15:221:855-863. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2016.11.086. Epub 2016 Nov 19.


A microwave-assisted extraction method was optimised for the recovery of bioactive compounds from Crocus sativus L. stigmas with the use of water/ethanol mixture. HPLC-DAD was employed to evaluate the extraction parameters, in particular, solvent type and volume, and the duration of the procedure. Microwave-assisted extraction enhanced the recovery of the active principles, limiting extraction time and solvent waste. Moreover, NIR experiments were performed in order to compare spectra in pseudo-absorbance of Saffron samples with different geographical origins through the application of the chemometric techniques. Moreover, the biological evaluation of crocin 1, safranal and its semisynthetic derivatives as selective inhibitors of five isoforms of human carbonic anhydrase was also explored.

Keywords: Crocus sativus L.; Geographical origin; HPLC-DAD; Microwave-assisted extraction; NIR spectroscopy; Principal component analysis; hCA inhibitors.

MeSH terms

  • Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors / analysis*
  • Carbonic Anhydrases / metabolism
  • Carotenoids / analysis
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid*
  • Crocus / chemistry*
  • Cyclohexenes / analysis
  • Geography
  • Glucosides / analysis
  • Humans
  • Limit of Detection
  • Plant Extracts / analysis*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Spectroscopy, Near-Infrared*
  • Terpenes / analysis


  • Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors
  • Cyclohexenes
  • Glucosides
  • Plant Extracts
  • Terpenes
  • Carotenoids
  • safranal
  • crocin
  • Carbonic Anhydrases
  • picrocrocin