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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 232956, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/232956
Research Article

Castanea sativa Mill. Flowers amongst the Most Powerful Antioxidant Matrices: A Phytochemical Approach in Decoctions and Infusions

1Mountain Research Center (CIMO), ESA, Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, Campus de Santa Apolónia 1172, 5301-855 Bragança, Portugal
2Department of Nutrition and Bromatology II, Faculty of Pharmacy, Complutense University of Madrid, Pza Ramón y Cajal, s/n., 28040 Madrid, Spain
3Grupo de Investigación en Polifenoles (GIP), Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Salamanca, Campus Miguel de Unamuno, 37007 Salamanca, Spain

Received 20 February 2014; Accepted 28 March 2014; Published 14 April 2014

Academic Editor: P. J. Oefner

Copyright © 2014 Márcio Carocho et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Infusions and decoction of chestnut tree flowers have been used for different medical purposes, but their phytochemical profile and antioxidant activity are still mostly unknown. Herein, decoctions and infusions of flowers from the two most appreciated chestnut cultivars (longal and judia) in Trás-os-Montes, Portugal, were prepared and characterized with regard to their content in free sugars, organic acids, and phenolic compounds, such as flavonoids and hydrolyzable tannins, and their antioxidant activity. Overall, the decoction of the cultivar judia was the sample with both the highest quantity of flavonoids and antioxidant activity. The phenolic compound with the highest abundance in all samples was trigalloyl-HHDP-glucoside, followed by pentagalloyl glucoside. The sample with the highest quantity of total phenolic compounds was judia infusion, closely followed by longal decoction, which also gave the highest quantities of ellagitannins. Regarding sugars and organic acids, the profiles were more similar. These results corroborate ancestral claims of the health benefits of infusions and decoctions of chestnut flowers.