Helichrysum italicum is a medicinal plant from the Mediterranean area, widely used in traditional medicine for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant properties and for its preventive effects on microcirculation diseases. Due to these properties, it finds large applications in cosmetic, food and pharmaceutical fields. Additionally, hydroalcoholic extracts and mother tinctures based on H. italicum represent products with a high commercial value, widely distributed not only in drug stores but also on on-line markets. The different extraction procedures used can greatly affect the fingerprints of the extracts, resulting in a different qualitative or quantitative profile of the chemical constituents responsible for biological activity. The aim of the present study was to characterize the composition of bioactive compounds present in water-ethanol and glycerol extracts of H. italicum derived food supplements. Metabolite profiles of the extracts were obtained by H-1 NMR experiments and data were processed by multivariate statistical analysis to highlight differences in the extracts and to evidence the extracts with the highest concentrations of bioactive metabolites. In detail, this work highlights how derived food supplements of H. italicum obtained using ethanol-water mixtures ranging from 45% to 20% of ethanol represent the products with the highest amount of both primary (amino acids) and secondary metabolites including 3,4-dicaffeoylquinic acid (9), chlorogenic acid (10), 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid (11), and kaempferol 3-O-glucopyranoside (12). Moreover, it is evident that the use of an ethanol-water mixture 20:80 is the most suitable method to afford the highest number of phenolic compounds, while food-derived supplements obtained by glycerol extraction are characterized by a high amount of beta-glucose and alpha-glucose and a low content of phenolic compounds.
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