Optimization of total anthocyanin content and antioxidant activity of a Hibiscus sabdariffa infusion using response surface methodology
Hibiscus sabdariffa L. calyces are underutilized sources of health-promoting anthocyanins. Infusions are the most common way to consume them, but because anthocyanins are thermosensitive, prolonged extraction times at high temperatures may reduce their bioactivities, suggesting the need to identify optimal preparation conditions. Response surface methodology was used to establish calyces-to-water ratio (X1: 1–20 g/100 mL), temperature (X2: 70–100 °C), and time (X3: 1–30 min) that would produce an infusion with optimized total anthocyanin content (TAC) and antioxidant activity. Under optimum conditions (X1=10 g/100 mL, X2=88.7 °C, and X3=15.5 min) TAC was 132.7±7.8 mg cyanidin-3-glucoside equivalents (C3G)/100 mL, and antioxidant activity was 800.6±69.9 (DPPH assay), and 1792.0±153.5 (ABTS assay) μmol Trolox equivalents (TE)/100 mL. Predicted and experimental results were statistically similar. Identifying ideal processing conditions can promote consumption of an H. sabdariffa-based functional beverage with high anthocyanin content and antioxidant activity that exert health-promoting bioactivities on the consumer.