Chemical composition of the edible flowers, pansy (Viola wittrockiana) and snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus) as new sources of bioactive compounds

Food Chem. 2018 Jun 30:252:373-380. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2018.01.102. Epub 2018 Jan 31.


The nutritional composition - including total and individual phenolic compounds, carotenoids, and the antioxidant capacity - of two commercially available edible flowers, pansy and snapdragon, was studied. The edible flowers did not differ in their carbohydrates, fat, or ash contents, or in total energy, but pansy had higher values of moisture, protein, and total dietary fiber than snapdragon. Phenolic compounds were more abundant in pansy than in snapdragon, and flavonoids were the major compounds, followed by anthocyanins. The phenolic profile of pansy included flavonols, such as quercetin and isorhamnetin glycosides, flavones, such as apigenin glycosides, and anthocyanins, such as cyanidin and delphinidin glycosides; in snapdragon it included flavonol glycosides (e.g. quercetin and kaempferol glycosides) and anthocyanins, such as cyanidin and pelargonidin glycosides. The contents of total carotenoids were 146 and 29 µg/mg for pansy and snapdragon, respectively, and lutein was the dominant compound.

Keywords: Antioxidant capacity; Bioactive compounds; Edible flowers; Proximate composition.

MeSH terms

  • Anthocyanins / analysis
  • Antioxidants / analysis
  • Antirrhinum / chemistry*
  • Carotenoids / analysis
  • Flavonoids / analysis
  • Flavonols / analysis
  • Flowers / chemistry
  • Glycosides / analysis
  • Lutein / analysis
  • Phenols / analysis
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Viola / chemistry*


  • Anthocyanins
  • Antioxidants
  • Flavonoids
  • Flavonols
  • Glycosides
  • Phenols
  • Plant Extracts
  • Carotenoids
  • pelargonidin
  • cyanidin
  • delphinidin
  • Lutein