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SEEDS AND FLOWERS OF CHESTNUT TREES IN URBAN AREAS: A MUNICIPAL WASTE OR A RAW MATERIAL

By
Zoran Maksimović ,
Zoran Maksimović

Katedra za farmakognoziju, Farmaceutski fakultet, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia

Jelena Arsenijević ,
Jelena Arsenijević

Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia

Jelena Novaković ,
Jelena Novaković

Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia

Danica Agbaba ,
Danica Agbaba

Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia

Saša Janković ,
Saša Janković

Institute of Meat Hygiene and Technology, Belgrade, Serbia

Marijana Ćurčić ,
Marijana Ćurčić

Department of Toxicology „Akademik Danilo Soldatović“, School of Pharmacy, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia

Biljana Antonijević
Biljana Antonijević

Department of Toxicology „Akademik Danilo Soldatović“, School of Pharmacy, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia

Abstract

This study deals with the examination of total aescin content in flowers and seeds of Aesculus hippocastanum L. and Aesculus x carnea Hayne (Hippocastanaceae), collected in urban areas, as well as the content of Pb, Cd and Hg as an indicator of potential aerial pollution. Aescin identification was performed by TLC. Total aescin content was determined by UV-VIS spectrophotometry and HPTLC densitometry. The contents of Pb, Cd and Hg was determined by AAS. The concentration of aescin varied in a wide range between 0.17% (A. hippocastanum hulls) and 2.95% (A. hippocastanum cotyledons), as determined by spectrophotometric assay. Slightly lower results were recorded in HPTLC densitometry assay, ranging from 0,10% (the hulls of both plant species) to 2.39% (A. x carnea cotyledons). The extractable matter yield was between 5% and 26%, with a high share of total aescin (5% - 13%, depending on the source). The levels of Pb, Cd and Hg both in the plant material and the extracts remained low, indicating that the health safety of the plant specimens was not compromised. Our results suggest that the seeds and flowers of Chestnut trees in urban areas could be considered as a raw material for chemical and pharmaceutical industry in Serbia.

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