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J Food Sci. 2011 Jan-Feb;76(1):C46-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2010.01949.x.

Wild Mediterranean plants as traditional food: a valuable source of antioxidants.

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Dept. of Biological Chemistry, Univ. of Padova, via G. Colombo 3, 35131 Italy.


Some wild Mediterranean plants used as traditional food are an extraordinary source of antioxidants. We tested some properties of 10 of these herbaceous plants, used in Liguria (Northwest Italy) to prepare a traditional dish known as "prebuggiun." A total of 9 of them were found to have a polyphenol content and antioxidant properties similar or better than those of red chicory and blueberry, which are, in the case of vegetables and fruits, among the richest of antioxidants. Practical Application: In this article, we reported a study on wild plants growing in the Mediterranean area. These herbs have been neglected and this study aimed to revalue these plants because they are an extraordinary source of antioxidants. The increasing demand for natural antioxidants (additives in the food industry too) justifies the search for new sources of natural antioxidants. The revaluation of these plants will be interesting for: (1) consumer health, rediscovering a vegetable source of high antioxidant power; (2) possibility of producing new commercial products, such as food supplements of high quality and low cost; (3) pharmacological applications.

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