Minerals and Vitamin B9 in dried plants vs. infusions: Assessing absorption dynamics of minerals by membrane dialysis tandem in vitro digestion uri icon


  • The authors are grateful to Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT, Portugal) for financial support to CIMO (strategic project PEst-OE/AGR/UI0690/2011), REQIMTE (PEst-C/EQB/LA0006/2011) and ALIMNOVA research group (UCM-GR35/10A), João C.M. Barreira and M.I. Dias grants (SFRH/BPD/72802/2010 and SFRH/BD/84485/2012, respectively). The authors thank Prof. Ana Maria Carvalho from the Polytechnic Institute of Bragança (CIMO), for the taxonomic identification of the yarrow, laurel and dandelion species.
  • Vitamins and mineral elements are among the most important phytochemicals due to their important role in the maintenance of human health. Despite these components had already been studied in different plant species, their full characterization in several wild species is still scarce. In addition, the knowledge regarding the in vivo effects of phytochemicals, particularly their bioaccessibility, is still scarce. Accordingly, a membrane dialysis process was used to simulate gastrointestinal conditions in order to assess the potential bioaccessibility of mineral elements in different preparations of Achillea millefolium (yarrow), Laurus nobilis (laurel) and Taraxacum sect. Ruderalia (dandelion). The retention/passage dynamics was evaluated using a cellulose membrane with 34 mm pore. Dandelion showed the highest levels of all studied mineral elements (except zinc) independently of the used formulations (dried plant or infusion), but yarrow was the only species yielding minerals after the dialysis step, either in dried form, or as infusion. In fact, the ability of each evaluated element to cross the dialysis membrane showed significant differences, being also highly dependent on the plant species. Regarding the potential use of these plants as complementary vitamin B9 sources, the detected values were much lower in the infusions, most likely due to the thermolability effect.

publication date

  • January 1, 2016