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Comprehensive analysis of Cirsium spinosissimum Scop., a wild alpine food plant

Abbet, Christian, Slacanin, Ivan, Corradi, Elisabetta, De Mieri, Maria, Hamburger, Matthias, Potterat, Olivier
Food chemistry 2014 v.160 pp. 165-170
Cirsium, aerial parts, ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, chemical composition, cytotoxicity, fatty acids, flavonoids, food plants, glycosides, human cell lines, metabolites, minerals, monoterpenoids, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, nutrition, spermine, Switzerland
Plants which have been traditionally eaten by alpine populations may provide new opportunities of agricultural development for mountain regions. In this context we investigated the chemical composition of Cirsium spinosissimum (Asteraceae), a perennial thistle. Its receptacles were eaten by shepherds in Valais (Switzerland). Extracts of aerial parts were subjected to a comprehensive metabolite profiling, using a dereplication platform, combining HPLC–PDA–MS and offline microprobe NMR analysis. Twenty compounds, including various phenolic glycosides, a monoterpene lactone, a spermine derivative, and fatty acids, could be identified online, or after targeted isolation. The total phenolic content was determined, and the major flavonoids were quantitatively assessed in fresh receptacles by HPLC–PDA analysis. In addition, substances relevant for nutrition, such as β-carotene, fatty acids, ascorbic acid, and minerals, were quantified. The ethanolic extract of the receptacles showed no sign of cytotoxicity when tested in Caco-2 cells.