Evaluation of Sambucus nigra as a Natural Food Additive
Black elder (Sambucus nigra L.) has a lot of health benefits and is used for several purposes depending on the morphological part of the plant. Although the benefits of elderflower fruit have been known in Europe and America for a very long time, in recent years it has been of increasing interest to the food and pharmaceutical industry. The present paper shows the evaluation of the biochemical compounds of some extracts from elderberries with the aim of being used as natural food additives. Numerous studies demonstrate that due to its high nutritional value, elderberry can be used as a functional ingredient in a wide range of food products. These fruits contain a small amount of cyanogenic glycosides, which are potentially toxic, for this reason many consider it harmful to the human body, but this compound can be eliminated by applying thermal treatments. Depending on the degree of pollution in the harvesting area, the quality of elderberries may show deficiencies in the amount of biochemical compounds and an increase in the amount of heavy metals. Being rich in antioxidants, flavonoids and volatile compounds, it can be a suitable source for obtaining natural dyes and flavourings.