Study finds microencapsulated saffron floral waste extracts can improve antioxidant properties and total phenolic content in yogurt, remaining stable during 21 days of storage

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June 12, 2023 (press release) –



  • Saffron floral by-products are suitable ingredients to add in yogurt formulations.
  • Encapsulation protected antioxidant properties of saffron flowers into the matrix.
  • The enrichment process of yogurts improved their nutritional and functional value.
  • The presence of organic acids in fortified yogurts could act as preservatives.
  • Antioxidant capacity and phenolic content remained stable during 21 days of storage.



Dairy industries are constantly seeking to develop innovative ingredients through the use of food by-products, since consumers’ demand for healthier foodstuffs has increased over the last years. Therefore, the development of innovative dairy products enriched with saffron floral extracts could represent a novel environmentally-friendly technological solution. The present study aimed to determine the effect of adding alginate-based microencapsulated saffron floral by-products extracts (0.5 g/100 g, 1 g/100 g), or/and saffron stigmas extracts (0.05 g/100 g, 0.1 g/100 g) to homemade yogurts. For this purpose, physical-chemical properties, antioxidant capacity, total phenolic content (TPC), microbiological analysis, color and organic acids and soluble sugars profile were determined at 0, 7, 14 and 21 days of refrigerated storage. The results showed that these novel yogurt formulations allowed proper fermentation, being the microbiological profile and physicochemical parameters not affected by saffron extracts, compared to the control. The incorporation of microencapsulated saffron floral extracts improved the functional properties in terms of TPC and antioxidant properties which remained stable over 21 days of storage. Enriched yogurts also showed a good profile of organic acids and soluble sugars, mainly lactic acid and lactose. In conclusion, saffron floral by-products-alginate beads could be potential sustainable candidates to use as functional ingredients improving the nutritional and functional value of yogurts.

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