Studies on chemical constituents and bioactivity of Rosa micrantha: an alternative antioxidants source for food, pharmaceutical, or cosmetic applications.J Agric Food Chem. 2010 May 26; 58(10):6277-84.JA
Rose species have long been used for food and medicinal purposes. Rosa micrantha is one of the rose species that grow feral in the northeastern Portuguese region so-called Nordeste Transmontano. For the first time, chemical composition and bioactivity of their petals, fertilized flowers, unripe, ripening, and overripe hips were evaluated in order to valorize them as sources of important phytochemicals. Chemical characterization included determination of proteins, fats, ash, and carbohydrates, particularly sugars, by HPLC-RI, fatty acids by GC-FID, tocopherols by HPLC-fluorescence, and phenolics, flavonoids, carotenoids, and ascorbic acid by spectrophotometric techniques. Bioactivity was evaluated through screening of antioxidant properties: radical scavenging effects, reducing power, and inhibition of lipid peroxidation. Ripening and overripe hips showed high nutritional value including proteins, carbohydrates, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, energy, sugars, particularly the reducing sugars fructose and glucose, and ascorbic acid (>693 mg/100 g). Fertilized flowers and petals revealed the highest antioxidant activity (EC(50) > 152 microg/mL) and phenolics, flavonoids, and tocopherols contents (>35 mg/100 g). Furthermore, petals, ripening, and overripe hips are important sources of carotenoid pigments (>64 mg/100 g). Because of the diversity and abundance of antioxidants found in this species, some food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical applications could be explored.