Identification of anthocyanic profile and determination of antioxidant activity of Dahlia pinnata petals: A potential source of anthocyanins

Sulem Yali Granados-Balbuena, Ericka Santacruz-Juárez, Daniel Canseco-González, Lucía Aztatzi-Rugerio, Lilia Sánchez-Minutti, Carolina Ramírez-López, Erik Ocaranza-Sánchez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract: In recent decades, the food industry has focused on the search for potential sources of anthocyanins that are able to provide color to replace synthetic dyes and at the same time provide health benefits through food products. Thus, in the present work, we propose the Dahlia pinnata flower as a potential source of anthocyanins. The dahlia is a native, annual flower from Mexico with a wide diversity of shapes and colors. The ancestral use of the flower in several dishes, its abundance, and the intense color of the flowers known as black make the D. pinnata flower a suitable candidate to be considered as a potential source of anthocyanins. Thus, the aim of this research is the determination of its nutritional composition, anthocyanin profile, and antioxidant activity. For this purpose, proximate composition of petals was determined by the AOAC standard methods. Anthocyanins were extracted from the dried petals of the flower with 0.1% HCl in methanol and 70% aqueous acetone solution and purified through Amberlite-XAD7-HP resin. Then, the purified extracts were analyzed for antioxidant activity by the DPPH method and the anthocyanin profile was characterized by HPLC and UPLC-MS/MS. Results showed that D. pinnata flowers have a proximate composition similar to other important edible flowers with a high level of moisture (87%–92%) and fiber (6%–7%). The antioxidant activity of both purified extracts was considerable (2.6–12 g/ml) compared to other sources of anthocyanins. The anthocyanin profile of the purified extracts contains four main anthocyanins: delphinidin-3-glucoside, delphinidin-3-rutinoside, pelargonidin-3-sambubioside-5-glucoside, and peonidin-3-sambubioside-5-glucoside, the last two being uncommon as major anthocyanin components in other plant sources. Practical Application: We present a potential and novel source of anthocyanins based on anthocyanin content and antioxidant activity of Dahlia pinnata petals. On the basis of UPLC-MS/MS studies, we identified four main anthocyanins, so this information provides the opportunity to study the source in many areas such as natural pigment stabilization, food additives, and antioxidants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)957-967
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Food Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • anthocyanin
  • anthocyanin profile
  • antioxidant activity
  • dahlia flower


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