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LWT - Food Science and Technology 42 (2009) 14681473

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LWT - Food Science and Technology


journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/lwt

Effect of drying methods on the phenolic constituents of meadowsweet


(Filipendula ulmaria) and willow (Salix alba)
Niamh Harbourne, Eunice Marete, Jean Christophe Jacquier, Dolores ORiordan*
School of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin, Beleld, Dublin 4, Ireland

a r t i c l e i n f o

a b s t r a c t

Article history:
Received 11 November 2008
Received in revised form
5 March 2009
Accepted 4 May 2009

The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of drying conditions on the phenolic constituents
and colour of extracts of organically grown white willow and meadowsweet for incorporation into
a functional beverage with potential anti-inammatory properties. The herbs were freeze-dried, airdried, oven or tray-dried at 30 or 70  C. The drying kinetics of the herbs was rst determined. Both
drying temperature and method had a signicant effect (p  0.05) on the drying rate, the samples traydried had a faster drying rate than those oven-dried. Results show that for meadowsweet and willow,
freeze-drying and oven or tray drying at 30  C had no signicant effect on the phenolic constituents (e.g.
total phenols, salicylates, quercetin) or the colour of the extracts in comparison to traditional air-drying.
Although increasing the drying temperature to 70  C resulted in an increase in the drying rate of both
herbs it also led to the loss of some phenolic compounds. Also, the extracts from both herbs dried at 70  C
were signicantly (p  0.05) redder than the other drying methods. Therefore, tray drying these herbs at
low temperatures may reduce drying time without having a signicant effect on the phenolic content
and colour of the extracts.
2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords:
Drying
Meadowsweet
Willow
Phenolic constituents

1. Introduction
Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria L.) and white willow (Salix
alba) are medicinal plants indigenous to Europe. They have been
traditionally used to treat various ailments due to their antipyretic,
analgesic and anti-inammatory properties (Bruneton, 1995). The
efcacy of these plants is mainly due to their phenolic content,
which includes salicylates. These salicylates such as salicin in willow and salicylaldehyde in meadowsweet are precursors of salicylic
acid. Both meadowsweet and willow played an important role in
the development of aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) as salicylic acid
was rst isolated from the owers of meadowsweet and the bark of
the willow in 1838 (Blumental, Goldberg, & Brinckmann, 2000;
Zeylstra, 1998). Other phenolic compounds present in both herbs
include avonoids (e.g. quercetin) and tannins.
In recent years there has been an increasing consumer demand
for health related food products which has led to development of
novel functional beverages (Katan & De Roos, 2004; Verschuren,
2002). The high phenolic content of these plants and the consumer
drive towards natural products demonstrate that these herbal

* Corresponding author. Tel.: 353 1 7167016; fax: 353 1 7161147.


E-mail address: dolores.oriordan@ucd.ie (D. ORiordan).
0023-6438/$ see front matter 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.lwt.2009.05.005

extracts would be ideal ingredients for incorporation into functional beverages with potential anti-inammatory properties. Prior
to inclusion into beverages these herbs undergo post-harvest processing, including drying, to extend their shelf-life. Previous studies
have shown that preservation techniques of medicinal herbs may
affect their quality (Harbourne, Jacquier, & ORiordan, 2009;
Julkunen-Tiitto & Sorsa, 2001). For a high quality extract for
incorporation into a beverage the level of phenolics should be
maximized, in particular the non-tannin fractions which will
include the active ingredients with anti-inammatory properties.
Also, the tannin fractions should be minimized as they cause
astringency, an undesirable gustative attribute.
Drying is an important preservation method for plant material,
as it inhibits enzymatic degradation and limits microbial growth.
Ambient air-drying is the traditional technique used to preserve
medicinal herbs as the low temperatures are thought to protect
against degradation of the active components. However, this drying
process is slow and metabolic processes may continue longer
which may lead to quality loss of the plants and subsequently to the
extracts, e.g. colour changes, loss in active ingredients (Fennell,
Light, Sparg, Stafford, & Van Staden, 2004; Keinanen & JulkunenTiitto, 1996). Other methods such as freeze-drying, oven drying and
tray drying have been previously used to preserve medicinal herbs
(Keinanen & Julkunen-Tiitto, 1996; Tanko, Carrier, Soskhansanj, &

N. Harbourne et al. / LWT - Food Science and Technology 42 (2009) 14681473

Crowe, 2005), but to date there is little information in the literature


on the effect of these drying conditions on the drying kinetics or
quality (e.g. colour, phenolic content) of meadowsweet and willow
extracts.
The purpose of this study was to investigate if drying temperature or method could have an inuence on the extract quality, for
example the shorter drying times that may be associated with tray
drying could have a positive inuence. Therefore, the objectives of
this study were two-fold, rstly to determine the drying kinetics of
meadowsweet and willow. Secondly, to investigate and compare
the effect of various drying conditions on the total phenolic
content, tannin and non-tannin phenols, bioactive constituents
(salicin, salicylic acid and quercetin) and the colour of meadowsweet and willow extracts for possible inclusion into a beverage
with potential anti-inammatory properties.
2. Materials and methods
2.1. Plant material
Meadowsweet and willow were organically grown and harvested in Strokestown, Co. Roscommon, Ireland. Debarking of willow stems from young branches was carried out within 48 h of
harvesting and the drying procedures for aerial parts (mixture of
owers, stems and leaves) of meadowsweet were set up on the day
of harvest. The stems of meadowsweet were approximately 13 mm
in diameter and the barks of willow were <2 mm in thickness. Initial
moisture content was determined by drying approximately 5.0 g of
the plant material in the oven (Model No. FD 115/E2, Binder,
Germany) at 102  C until a constant weight was achieved.
2.2. Drying
The herbs were dried using the following treatments (1) prefreezing in liquid nitrogen followed by freeze-drying (FD) (Edwards
Super Modulyo freeze-drier, Sussex, UK), (2) air-drying at ambient
temperature (25  C) (AD), (3) drying in a convection oven (Model
No. FD 115/E2, Binder, Germany) at 30  C (OD30), (4) drying in
a convection oven at 70  C (OD70), (5) drying in a tray drier (Model
No. U0P8, Armeld, England) at 30  C (TD30) and (6) at 70  C
(TD70) at an air velocity of 0.97  0.03 m/s, which is higher than
that in the oven. The herbs were distributed uniformly in a single
layer on trays measuring 27  21 cm for oven and air-drying and on
trays measuring 28  19 cm in the tray drier. Moisture loss of the
air-dried, tray-dried and oven-dried samples was recorded at time
intervals and the drying experiments were conducted in triplicate.
All the samples were dried to equilibrium moisture content. To
evaluate the effect of drying on meadowsweet and willow extracts,
the freeze-dried samples were taken as the control. The dried
samples were then ground into a moderately ne powder (WHO,
1998) using a lab mill with a sieve size of 3 mm (Christy and Norris
Ltd, UK).
The Lewis equation (Equation (1)) was used to describe the
drying model of the herbs and the drying rate was calculated
according to Equation (2) (Doymaz, Tugrul, & Pala, 2006; Tanko
et al., 2005).

M  Me
expkt
Mo  Me
Drying rate

Mtdt  Mt
dt

(1)

(2)

where M, Me, Mo, Mt, Mtdt, are the moisture content, equilibrium
moisture content, initial moisture content, moisture content at t

1469

and moisture content at t dt (g moisture/g dry basis) respectively.


k is the drying constant and t is the time in minutes.
2.3. Extraction
The ground plant material (2.5 g) was put in a Duran ask
containing 100 ml of heated distilled water at 100  C for 20 min
using a stirring hot plate (Ika WERKE GmbH and Co., Germany).
Extracts were ltered under vacuum through Whatman no. 1 lter
paper (Whatman Ltd, England) and cooled immediately on ice.
2.4. Quantication of the total phenolic content in plant extracts
The total phenolic content in the extracts was carried out
according to the FolinCiocalteu method (Singleton & Rossi, 1965).
The reaction mixture was composed of 0.2 ml standard/extract,
0.5 ml FolinCiocalteu reagent (Merck, Germany), 1.5 ml of 20%
sodium carbonate (Merck, Germany) and 7.8 ml of distilled water.
The solution was mixed, allowed to stand for 2 h and the absorbance was measured at 760 nm using a UVVis spectrophotometer
(UV-1240, Shimadzu, Kyoto, Japan). The total phenolic content was
calculated as mg of gallic acid equivalents (GAE)/g dry weight.
2.5. Separation of tannin and non-tannin fraction in the extracts
The tannin (TT) and non-tannin (NT) fractions in meadowsweet
and willow extracts were separated using cinchonine (Sigma
Aldrich, MO, USA) precipitation according to Peri and Pompei
(1971). The NT and TT fractions were further separated using
formaldehyde solution (Sigma Aldrich, MO, USA) containing 0.5 ml
of HCl (10%) to yield simple phenols and hydrolysable tannins
respectively. After separation all fractions were quantied using the
FolinCiocalteu procedure. The content of condensed tannins and
avonoids was calculated by difference.
2.6. Analysis of bioactive compounds
Meadowsweet and willow extracts were hydrolysed using
a modication of the method by Hertog, Hollman, and Venema
(1992). Briey, 4.5 ml of meadowsweet extract, 4.5 ml of methanol
and 1 ml of HCl (38%) were mixed and heated at 90  C under reux
for 2 h. After heating, the samples were cooled in an ice-bath and
then ltered through Whatman no. 1 lter paper. Additional
ltration was done through a 0.2 mm membrane lter (Pall Life
Sciences, UK) and 10 ml was injected directly onto the HPLC column.
HPLC separation was carried out using an Agilent 1200 HPLC
system (Agilent Technologies, Palo Alto, CA) in combination with an
Agilent ZORBAX Eclipse XDB-C18 (150 mm  4.6 mm i.d.; 5 mm,
particle size) column with a C18 guard column (Phenomenex,
Cheshire, UK). The solvents used were (A) 0.025 M phosphoric acid
and (B) acetonitrile. The separations were performed at 30  C by
gradient elution at a ow rate of 1 ml/min. UV detection was set at
210 nm. The following gradient was used: 015 min, from 20 to 40%
B; 1520 min, 20% B. Identication of quercetin and salicylic acid
was based on retention times by comparison with a commercial
standard. The amount of quercetin and salicylic acid measured
represents the total amount of quercetin derivatives and salicylic
acid derivatives.
The salicin content in willow extracts was separated from nonhydrolysed extracts and quantied using similar HPLC conditions as
those discussed above. Salicin standard (Sigma Aldrich) was used to
prepare a standard curve. The following gradient was used:
033 min, from 5 to 25% B; 3337 min, 5% B.

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N. Harbourne et al. / LWT - Food Science and Technology 42 (2009) 14681473


1.2

0.30

1.0

0.25

0.8

0.20

0.6

0.15

0.4

0.05

0.2
0.0

70C

0.00

500

2.8. Statistical analysis

3. Results and discussion


3.1. Drying behaviour of meadowsweet and willow
The initial moisture content of willow bark and aerial parts of
meadowsweet was 61.0  0.2% and 61 1% (wet basis) respectively.
To predict the drying kinetics the Lewis model was used, as
previous studies (Doymaz et al., 2006; Zanoelo, di Celso, & Kaskantzis, 2007) indicated that this single parameter model allowed
the kinetic parameters to be easily determined and it showed
a good data t for the drying of herbs. This is in agreement with the
results found in the present study as the Lewis model showed
a very good t between experimental and calculated data
(r2 > 0.99) (Fig. 1). Although, the simplistic Lewis model may not
give the most accurate approximation of the drying rate (k), use of
different models does not seem to affect the k values considerably,
as shown by Doymaz et al. (2006). Drying curves of meadowsweet
and willow dried at 30  C using both an oven and tray drier are
presented in Fig. 1. Drying curves of the air-dried samples at room
temperature, oven and tray-dried at 70  C followed the same trend
(results not shown). It is clear that for both meadowsweet and

1.8

Moisture content (d.b.)

1000

1500

Time (min)

A one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Tukeys pair wise


comparisons were used to determine signicant differences
between the various drying treatments. All extractions for each
treatment were carried out in triplicate. SAS 9.1.3 was used for
analyses (SAS Institute, Cary, NC, USA). Mean values represented by
the same letters were considered not signicantly different at
p  0.05.

1.6

Fig. 2. Inuence of oven drying temperature (30  C (squares) and 70  C (diamonds))


on the evolution of dying rate as a function of time on meadowsweet (closed symbols)
and willow (open symbols). The left-side y-axis represents the drying rate at 70  C and
the right-side y-axis represents the drying rate at 30  C.

willow the moisture content reaches a minimum with drying time.


The drying rate of both herbs at temperatures of 30 and 70  C is
presented in Fig. 2. It is evident that there was no constant rate
period in the drying of the herbs, only the falling rate period was
present. In this period the drying rate is controlled by the diffusion
of moisture from the interior to the surface. These results are in
agreement with previous reports which have studied the drying
kinetics of herbs, such as verbena (Belghit, Kouhila, & Boutaleb,
2000), dill, parsley (Doymaz et al., 2006), mint and basil (Akpinar,
2006).
As shown in Table 1, the Me for both herbs was below the
pharmacopoeia guidelines maxima of 12 and 11% for meadowsweet
and willow, respectively (European Pharmacopoeia, 2004), indicating that all treatments lead to well dried herbs suitable for long
term storage. The drying rates are also presented in Table 1. It was
observed that willow bark dried at a faster rate than meadowsweet,
this variation in drying rate may be attributed to the differences in
the herbs characteristics. At the temperatures studied (30 & 70  C)
the drying rate constants (k) for the tray-dried herbs were twice
those of the oven-dried herbs (Table 1). In general, drying of
meadowsweet and willow at 70  C resulted in signicantly higher
drying rate than at 30  C (Fig. 2). This has been reported in previous
studies which have examined the effect of drying temperature on
the drying rate of herbs (Belghit et al., 2000; Doymaz et al., 2006;
Tanko et al., 2005). Overall, tray-drying medicinal herbs seem to be
the preferred method of drying in comparison to traditional airdrying and oven drying as it results in shorter drying times. As
indicated above, higher drying temperatures also resulted in
Table 1
Drying rate constant (k) and equilibrium moisture contents (Me) of meadowsweet
and willow dried using different methods.

1.4
1.2
1.0
0.8

Plant

Drying treatment

k (103 min1)

Equilibrium moisture
content (%)

Meadowsweet

FD
AD
OD30
OD70
TD30
TD70

2.0  0.3
2.0  0.2
14  4
4.0  0.3
20  3

9.6  0.3
9.9  0.7
8.3  0.2
2.2  0.7
93
73

Willow

FD
AD
OD30
OD70
TD30
TD70

5.0  0.1
2.6  0.1
16  5
5.6  0.6
30  8

1.0  0.1
7.8  0.2
6.6  0.1
3.3  0.2
7.4  0.4
2.8  0.1

0.6
0.4
0.2
0.0

0.10

30C

Drying rate (d.b./dt)

The colour of willow and meadowsweet extracts was determined using a Chroma meter CR-300 (Minolta Ltd, Milton Keynes,
UK). Hunter Lab scale was used with L*, a* and b* axes expressing
the lightness, redness-greenness and blueness-yellowness respectively. To ascertain the signicance of changes of colour the hue
angle (H ) and chroma (C*) were calculated from a* and b* colour
coordinates according to McGuire (1992). Hue angle is dened as
a colour wheel with red-purple at an angle of 0 , yellow at 90 ,
bluish-green at 180 and blue at 270 .

Drying rate (d.b./dt)

2.7. Determination of colour of the extracts

200

400

600

800

1000

1200

1400

1600

1800

Time (mins)
Fig. 1. Moisture content (d.b.) of meadowsweet (triangles) and willow bark (circles) as
a function of drying time at a temperature of 30  C. Open symbols represent tray
drying (OD30) and closed symbols represent oven drying (TD30). (Note: broken lines
represent the behaviour predicted by the kinetic model.)

FD: freeze-dried; AD: air-dried; OD30: oven-dried at 30  C; OD70: oven-dried at


70  C; TD30: tray-dried at 30  C; TD70: tray-dried at 70  C.

N. Harbourne et al. / LWT - Food Science and Technology 42 (2009) 14681473

At the drying temperatures studied, the phenolic content of


meadowsweet (110  8 to 119  8 mg/g d.b.) was signicantly
higher than willow (62  3 to 83  1 mg/g d.b.). Overall, drying
condition had no signicant effect on the total phenol content in
meadowsweet and willow extracts (Table 2). Overall, drying
condition had no signicant effect on the total phenol content in
meadowsweet and willow extracts. A decrease in total phenols
with increasing drying temperatures has been previously reported
for willow. Julkunen-Tiitto (1985) found that an increase in
temperature from 48 to 60  C caused a decrease in the total
phenolic content of willow leaves. However, Du Toit and Joubert
(1998) found that drying temperature (4070  C) did not affect the
total polyphenol content in honeybush tea. As the drying conditions had no signicant effect on the total phenol content, the
effects of these conditions on the proportion of the phenolic groups
(non-tannin and tannin polyphenols) were assessed.
3.3. Effect of drying on the phenolic constituents in meadowsweet
and willow bark extracts
The effect of drying on the tannin and non-tannin fractions is
shown in Fig. 3. It is clear that there was no signicant difference
between the amount of non-tannins in meadowsweet X 51 
6 mg=g d:b: and willow extracts X 48  8 mg=g d:b: at the
drying conditions studied. Although, meadowsweet extracts contained a signicantly higher level of tannins than willow extracts.
Meadowsweet had a higher proportion of simple phenols and
hydrolysable tannins than willow, while willow extracts contained
a higher proportion of avonoids and condensed tannins
(Table 2).
There was no signicant difference in the level of tannins or
non-tannins in meadowsweet between any of the drying treatments (Fig. 3a). Furthermore, the proportion of simple phenols or
hydrolysable tannins in meadowsweet extracts was not signicantly affected by drying condition (Table 2). However, the
proportion of avonoids signicantly decreased from 32  3% in
freeze-dried material to 25  1% in meadowsweet oven-dried at
70  C. Inversely, the proportion of condensed tannins was highest
in meadowsweet samples tray and oven-dried at 70  C and lowest

Phenols (mg/g GAE d.b.)

3.2. Effect of drying on the total phenolic content in meadowsweet


and willow extracts

70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0

FD

AD

OD30

OD70

TD30

TD70

TD30

TD70

Drying Condition

b
Phenols (mg/g GAE d.b.)

shorter drying times however it may lead to a loss in quality (i.e.


phenols, colour) of the herbs and their subsequent extracts (Julkunen-Tiitto & Sorsa, 2001). Therefore, it is very important to study
the effect of drying method on the phenolic constituents and colour
of the extracts.

1471

70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0

FD

AD

OD30

OD70

Drying condition
Fig. 3. Effect of drying condition on the tannins ( ) and non-tannins () of (a)
meadowsweet and (b) willow bark extracts. Freeze-dried (FD), air-dried (AD), ovendried at 30  C (OD30), oven-dried at 70  C (OD70), tray-dried at 30  C (TD30), traydried at 70  C (TD70).

in meadowsweet oven-dried at 30  C. The decrease in avonoids


and increase in condensed tannins (Table 2) in these samples oven
and tray-dried at 70  C could possibly be due to the polymerisation
of avonoids to condensed tannins at high temperature. It is
possible that these tannins are degradation products brought about
by high drying temperatures and may not have the health benets
associated with the condensed tannins synthesised by plants.
In the case of willow, the drying condition did not signicantly
affect the amount of tannins (Fig. 3b). However, drying at 70  C
resulted in a signicant reduction in the amount of non-tannin
phenols in comparison to traditional air-drying or oven drying at

Table 2
Phenolic groups in meadowsweet and willow extracts dried under different conditions as a percentage of the total phenols (mg/g d.b.).
Plant

Drying treatment

Total phenols (mg/g d.b.)

Simple phenols (%)

Flavonoids (%)

Hydrolysable tannins (%)

Condensed tannins (%)

Meadowsweet

FD
AD
OD30
OD70
TD30
TD70

112  2a
119  8a
115  8a
110  6a
119  9a
110  8a

24  1a
23  1a
24  1a
25  1a
23  1a
23.2  0.3a

32  2a
30  1a
30  3ab
25  1c
31  2a
26  2bc

34  3b
37.0  0.3ab
38  3a
36  1ab
34  1b
36  3ab

10  2cd
9  1cd
8  2d
14  1ab
12  1bc
15  1a

Willow

FD
AD
OD30
OD70
TD30
TD70

62  3a
83  1a
78  8a
68  9a
72  4a
67  6a

14  2x
14  2x
14  2x
19  3x
16  1x
14  3x

60  6x
57  1x
58  5x
43  5y
53  7xy
49  3xy

6  3x
3  2x
6  1x
8  2x
6  4x
5  1x

20  8x
26  4x
23  3x
31  6x
25  9x
33  2x

ac, x, y

Mean values  standard deviation represented by the same letters within the same column are not signicantly different at p  0.05. FD: freeze-dried; AD: air-dried;
OD30: oven-dried at 30  C; OD70: oven-dried at 70  C; TD30: tray-dried at 30  C; TD70: tray-dried at 70  C.

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N. Harbourne et al. / LWT - Food Science and Technology 42 (2009) 14681473

30  C. Further separation of tannins to hydrolysable and condensed


tannins showed that they were not signicantly affected by the
drying condition (Table 2). Separation of non-tannins to simple
phenols and avonoids showed that the simple phenols were not
affected by the drying condition but drying at 70  C resulted in
a decrease in the amount of avonoids. Therefore, this observed
reduction in the non-tannins at 70  C could be solely due to the
decrease in the avonoids. Interestingly, the slight increase
observed in the condensed tannins (Table 2) at 70  C which
corresponds to the decrease in avonoids at this temperature could
also be an indication of the polymerisation of the avonoids, which
was observed in meadowsweet extracts.
3.4. Analysis of bioactives in meadowsweet and willow extracts
3.4.1. Effect of drying on the salicin content in willow bark extracts
(non-hydrolysed extract)
The amount of salicin in the dried samples ranged from 5.7  0.9
to 6.6  0.4 mg/g d.b. and indicates that the drying method or
temperature did not affect the salicin content signicantly. This
observation is in agreement with that obtained for the simple
phenols, however previous studies found that an increase in drying
temperature resulted in an increase in salicin content in willow
leaves (Julkunen-Tiitto & Sorsa, 2001). Overall, the amounts of
salicin found agree closely with the values of Zaugg, Cefalo, and
Walker (1997) who have reported 7.8 and 3.1 mg/g from two S. alba
samples. Salicin was not detected in meadowsweet extracts.
3.4.2. Effect of drying on the salicylic acid content in meadowsweet
and willow extracts (hydrolysed extracts)
As was the case for simple phenols, drying treatment had no
statistical effect on the total salicylic acid content in either meadowsweet or willow, probably due to the thermal stability of this
compound. The amount of salicylic acid extracted ranged from
0.3  0.1 to 0.7  0.1 mg/g d.b. in meadowsweet and 2.3  0.3 to
2.5  0.1 mg/g d.b. in willow. At all the drying conditions studied
the level of salicylic acid was signicantly higher in willow than in
meadowsweet extracts.
3.4.3. Effect of drying on the quercetin content in meadowsweet
extracts (hydrolysed extracts)
The highest amount of total quercetin was found in meadowsweet samples which were freeze-dried, although the samples
oven-dried at 30  C were not signicantly different. A signicant
decrease in total quercetin concentration was observed in samples
oven-dried at 70  C (Fig. 4). This is in agreement with the results

Total Quercetin (mg/g d.b.)

3.5. Effect of drying on the colour of meadowsweet


and willow extracts
Table 3 shows the effect of drying on the colour of meadowsweet and willow extracts. It is clear that under all drying conditions studied meadowsweet extracts were signicantly darker and
redder XL 49  2; XH  31  7 than willow extracts
XL 59  1; XH  57  7. This is possibly due to the higher
total phenolic content in meadowsweet extracts, which is mainly
due to a higher content of tannins. Du Toit and Joubert (1998) also
observed a darker extract colour in honeybush tea extracts that had
a higher level of polyphenols.
The drying method had a signicant effect on the colour of both
plant extracts. Willow samples dried at 70  C either using a tray
drier or a convection oven were signicantly redder (H 49  2)
than those dried at lower temperatures. Meadowsweet samples
which were freeze-dried or air-dried exhibited the highest hue
angle (H 37), although it was not signicantly different from
those that were either oven or tray-dried at 30  C. Similar to willow
the meadowsweet samples dried at 70  C were signicantly redder
that those dried using lower temperature.
The drying method also affected the chroma and lightness of the
willow extracts. The freeze-dried and air-dried extracts were
signicantly lighter (higher L*) than the oven-dried at 70  C and the
chroma for the samples air-dried (8  1) and oven-dried at 70  C
(8  1) was lower than for the other drying conditions. The
meadowsweet samples dried at 70  C were signicantly darker
(lower L* value) than those air-dried. Drying treatment also had an
effect on the chroma of the meadowsweet extracts. The freezedried samples had the highest chroma or saturation (13  2),

Table 3
Hue angle, chroma and lightness of meadowsweet and willow extracts.

7
6

presented above on the proportion of avonoids (%) found in


meadowsweet extracts (Table 2). Previous studies had conicting
results; therefore the effect of drying on the phenolic constituents
of plants seems to be species specic. Cannac, Ferrat, Barboni,
Pergent, and Pasqualini (2007) found that freeze-dried Posidonia
oceanica samples had signicantly lower concentration of avonols
(glycosides of quercetin) than samples oven-dried at 40  C. In
contrast, Keinanen and Julkunen-Tiitto (1996) studied the effect of
drying treatment on the phenolic content of Birch and found that
unlike meadowsweet the content of avonoid glycosides (which
included quercetin glycosides) was signicantly higher when
freeze-dried or dried at temperatures of 80  C compared to samples
dried at 40  C. Quercetin was also analysed in willow extracts but
was not detected.

Plant

bc

ab
c

bc

FD

AD

OD30

OD70

TD30

TD70

Drying Condition
Fig. 4. Effect of the drying condition on the total quercetin content of meadowsweet
extracts. Freeze-dried (FD), air-dried (AD), oven-dried at 30  C (OD30), oven-dried at
70  C (OD70), tray-dried at 30  C (TD30), tray-dried at 70  C (TD70).

ab

Hue angle (H )


a

Chroma (C*)

FD
AD
OD30
OD70
TD30
TD70

50  2
51  2a
48  1ab
46.8  0.4b
49  1ab
47.1  0.3b

37  7
37  2a
32  2ab
25  2bc
31  5abc
22  2c

13  2a
10  3ab
9  1ab
6  1bc
6  2bc
5.8  0.4c

Willow

FD
AD
OD30
OD70
TD30
TD70

60  0x
59  0x
59  1xy
57  1y
59  1xy
59  2xy

66  3x
62  2xy
59  2y
51  2z
60  1y
48  1z

9  1xy
8  1y
9  1xy
8  1y
9  1xy
12  3x

Lightness (L)

Meadowsweet

bc

Drying treatment

ac, xz
Mean values  standard deviation represented by the same letters within the
same column are not signicantly different at p  0.05. FD: freeze-dried; AD: airdried; OD30: oven-dried at 30  C; OD70: oven-dried at 70  C; TD30: tray-dried at
30  C; TD70: tray-dried at 70  C.

N. Harbourne et al. / LWT - Food Science and Technology 42 (2009) 14681473

followed by those air-dried and oven-dried at 30  C, whereas traydried samples at 30 or 70  C and oven-dried at 70  C had a slightly
lower chroma.
Previous results obtained in our laboratory showed that drying
chamomile owers at high temperatures (80  C) caused a signicant decrease in both hue angle and chroma of the extracts in
comparison to samples freeze-dried or oven-dried at low temperatures (Harbourne et al., 2009). Du Toit and Joubert (1998) have
shown that the drying temperature did not have an effect on the
colour of honeybush tea extracts; however the colour of fermented
honeybush plant material is dark which may make it difcult to
detect a change in colour of the extract. Interestingly, other authors
have reported that higher drying temperatures have an effect on
the colour of plant material. Julkunen-Tiitto and Sorsa (2001)
noticed that willow leaves air-dried at 60 and 90  C turned to
a brownish colour in comparison to leaves air-dried and freezedried possibly due to quinone formation and decomposition of
phenols. Also, Arabhosseini, Huisman, van Boxtel, and Muller
(2007) found that increasing the drying temperature of tarragon
from 45 to 60  C caused a decrease in the hue angle, lightness and
saturation of the dried material.

4. Conclusion
At all drying conditions studied willow bark had a higher drying
rate than aerial parts of meadowsweet. For both herbs the drying
rate increased with drying temperature and tray drying showed
a higher drying rate than oven drying. Although drying at higher
temperatures resulted in shorter drying times it caused a reduction
in the avonoids and resulted in redder extracts. The decrease in
avonoids and corresponding increase in condensed tannins
observed could be probably due to polymerisation during high
temperature drying. Freeze-drying, air-drying and oven or tray
drying of both herbs at 30  C yielded extracts high in phenols,
active ingredients and had a desirable colour for incorporation into
a beverage with potential anti-inammatory properties. Therefore,
tray drying these medicinal herbs at low temperatures may
decrease the drying time without having any major effects on the
total phenols, bioactives and colour of the extracts.

Acknowledgements
This work was funded by the Food Institutional Research
Measure (FIRM) administered by the Department of Agriculture,
Fisheries and Food, Republic of Ireland.

1473

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