International Journal of Applied Science and Technology

ISSN 2221-0997 (Print), 2221-1004 (Online)

Nutritional And Functional Properties of Cynara Crops (Globe Artichoke and Cardoon) and Their Potential Applications: A Review
Efterpi Christaki, Eleftherios Bonos, Panagiota Florou-Paneri

Cynara genus, originating from the Mediterranean area, includes globe artichoke (Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus L) and cardoon (Cynara cardunculus var. altilis DC). Traditionally these crops have long been used as food and medicine. Nowadays, they are considered as functional foods, owing to their nutritional properties. Artichoke has exhibited hepatoprotective and antioxidative activities, as well as the ability to inhibit cholesterol biosynthesis and low density lipoprotein oxidation, due to its high content of polyphenolic compounds. Moreover, the edible and agro-industrial by-products of artichoke are rich sources of inulin. In addition, cardoon, having similar bioactive compounds, offers a wide spectrum of different uses: for medicinal purposes, as rennet substitute for the preparation of high quality traditional cheese, as oil suitable for human consumption, as biofuel or for paper production. Also, these plants can be used in ruminant nutrition as green forage or preserved as silage, with high organic matter digestibility.

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