Document Type : Research Paper
Department of Horticultural Sciences, College of Agriculture, Vali-e-Asr University of Rafsanjan, Kerman, Iran
Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) flowers have widespread uses in food and medicine industries due to high content of coloring pigments and antioxidant ingredients. Effects of mycorrhization with a mixture of Funneliformis mosseae, F. caledonius, Rhizophagus intraradices, and R. iregularis (seed inoculation, soil inoculation and control), four drying methods (room (25 °C), sun (40 °C), oven (70 °C), and split system air conditioning (19 °C)) and their interactions were investigated on safflower petaloids in 2019, in Rafsanjan, Iran. Soil inoculation and oven drying provided the highest content of phenolics and vitamin C, while sun drying showed the lowest content of phenolics. Oven was the best tool regarding antioxidant activity but was not statistically different from other methods. Soil inoculation showed higher antioxidant activity than seed inoculation. Total soluble solids, anthocyanin content, and pH were not altered by mycorrhization and drying. Mycorrhization did not have a significant effect on carotenoid content, but sun drying reduced the carotenoids significantly. Soil-inoculated and oven-dried samples had significantly higher chlorophyll content. Oven displayed the lowest L*, a*, and b* values meaning that oven-dried samples were darker and had more green pigments while the other methods produced redder and yellower color. Room drying led to the highest chroma fallowed by split system and sun, but oven drying resulted in the lowest chroma. Sun drying caused a reduction in hue angle showing a small change in basic color. The results suggest soil inoculation and oven drying for biochemical preservation, but oven had adverse effects on color.