A study on bryophyte chemical composition–search for new applications
University of Latvia, Department of Environmental Science, Raina Blvd. 19, Riga, LV-1586, Latvia; e-mail: email@example.com
Bryophytes are the taxonomic group in the plant kingdom represented with about 25’000 species. They contain a high number of biologically active compounds; however their use as a food source is negligible. The aim of this paper is to evaluate bryophyte chemical composition and new possible applications. In order to evaluate bryophyte potential usage as a raw food material, bryophyte basic chemical content and the secondary metabolite profile was determined. To obtain best results bryophyte secondary metabolite extraction options has been studied. Couple of extraction methods were used (conventional, ultrasound, microwave, supercritical CO2 extraction etc.) and different solvents (ethanol, water etc.). A total concentration of polyphenols and substances determining free radical scavenging activity has been determined. The extracts obtained from bryophytes have remarkable antioxidant activity, the extent of which depends on the extraction conditions and bryophyte species. Comparison of five extraction methods and several solvents indicates that microwave assisted extraction and supercritical CO2 extraction is the most promising approach to obtain highest yields of extractives.