Nutrients and Heavy Metals in Flowers and Corms of the Saffron Crocus (Crocus sativus L.)
- *Corresponding Author:
- Chichiriccò G
Department of Life
Health and Environmental Sciences
University of L’Aquila
Via Vetoio, I-67010 Coppito
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: April 06, 2016; Accepted date: June 06, 2016; Published date: June 09, 2016
Citation: Chichiriccò G, Lanza B, Piccone P, Poma A (2016) Nutrients and Heavy Metals in Flowers and Corms of the Saffron Crocus (Crocus sativus L.). Med Aromat Plants 5:254. doi:10.4172/2167-0412.1000254
Copyright: © 2016 Chichiriccò G, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
We used ICP mass spectrometry and gas chromatography to examine the nutritional properties of the flower organs of saffron crocus grown in two cultivation fields. The pollenkitt consisted of a variety of mainly unsaturated fatty acids of dietary value, and fats of the same type were also on the anther wall. Microelements important for the human body were at concentrations allowable in both pollen and anther wall cells. Lead and mercury were below allowable levels, unlike arsenic which in pollen of the Field A was 1.70 μg/g, and cadmium which in the Field B was 0.29 μg/g in pollen and 0.43 μg/g in the anther wall cells. The contamination of the stamens was associated with the high concentration of heavy metals found in the soil. Phosphorus, magnesium and calcium were high and sodium low in both pollen and anther wall cells, regardless of the cultivation fields. Styles and corms were rich in macroelements and not contamined by heavy metals. If on one hand pollen and anthers of saffron deserve attention as dietary supplements, on the other it must be taken into due account their tendency to absorb toxic metals from the soil.