Properties of Hibiscus Sabdariffa L.
Belonging to the Malvaceae family, Hibiscus Sabdariffa L. is a rather robust annual plant originally grown in Africa. The species then adapted to subtropical and tropical areas, Western Indies to Central America to Asia; It is called Roselle in English or sorrel of Guinea.
This variety of hibiscus, which produces edible calyxes rich in calcium, riboflavin and iron, is used as a dye, drink and food. This thirst quenching and refreshing drink is called Bissap in Africa. Dried or decoction calyxes are commonly used in the manufacture of juice and drinks by West African populations.
Phytochemical studies demonstrate the richness and nutritional contributions of the hibiscus which contains: proteins, vitamins, polyphenols (source of flavonoids), pectins, amino acids, fibers and minerals. In its composition also enter organic acids, and anthocyanosides (source of antioxidants) which confers health properties to hibiscus. It thus reduces blood pressure and cholesterol levels, decreases body temperature, stomach ache and sore throat.
Its acidic gustative qualities make hibiscus a natural toning agent, but also a natural alternative to synthetic additives. Perfumed and colorful, hibiscus is suitable for many preparations, both solid and liquid. Its organoleptic properties make that the demand for this raw material has risen sharply, particularly regarding hibiscus flower powder: a CAGR of 6.1% of 2019 to 2025 is planned with Europe for the second largest market.
Organic, natural and healthy, hibiscus is growing in agribusiness and represents an excellent nutraceutical ingredient.