Sayani Pal, Paramita Bhattacharjee
Supercritical carbon dioxide extract of African marigold (Tagetes erecta L.) flowers, obtained at 80°C, 450 bar after 105 min extraction time at a flow rate of 2 l/min of gaseous CO2, was found to possess the best combination of phytochemical properties such as the highest lutein content (201.45±4.78 mg/100 g dry marigold petals) along with maximum DPPH radical scavenging activity (IC50 of 0.92±0.06 mg/ml) and ferric reducing antioxidant power (90.06±3.56 mM FeSO4 equivalent/g dry marigold petals) among all the extracts tested. This extract was successfully employed as a value-added ingredient in the formulation of jelly dessert and rice papad. These newly designed food products were stored at 4±1°C and 23±2°C, respectively. They were evaluated for their physicochemical properties (pH, gel strength, colour and rheology for the jelly dessert, and hardness, % expansion and colour for rice papad), phytochemical properties (lutein content and antioxidant activity), sensory attributes and microbial load (for papad samples alone) at regular intervals during a storage period of 2 months. The assays established the superiority of the jelly dessert and papad samples formulated with lutein-rich supercritical carbon dioxide extract of marigold flowers over their respective control samples. Lutein-rich jelly dessert and rice papad may therefore serve as two new green functional foods with promising nutraceutical benefits.