The morphological and antioxidant characteristics of inflorescences within wild-growing genotypes of elderberry (Sambucus nigra L.)


  • Vladimí­ra Horčinová Sedláčková Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, Faculty of Agrobiology and Food Resources, Institute of Biodiversity Conservation and Biosafety, Trieda Andreja Hlinku 2, 949 76 Nitra.
  • Olga Grygorieva M. M. Gryshko National Botanical Gardens of Ukraine National Academy of Sciences, Timiryazevska 1, 01014 Kyiv.
  • Katarí­na Fatrcová-Šramková Slovak University of Agriculture, Faculty of Agrobiology and Food Resources, Department of Human Nutrition, Trieda Andreja Hlinku 2, 949 76 Nitra.
  • Olena Vergun M.M. Gryshko National Botanical Gardens of Ukraine National Academy of Sciences, Timiryazevska 1, 01014 Kyiv.
  • Yulia Vinogradova N.V. Tsitsin Main Botanical Garden of Russian Academy of Sciences, Botanicheskaya, 4, 127276 Moscow.
  • Eva Ivanišová Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Resources, Department of Plant Storage and Processing, Trieda Andreja Hlinku 2, 949 76 Nitra.
  • Ján Brindza Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, Faculty of Agrobiology and Food Resources, Institute of Biodiversity Conservation and Biosafety, Trieda Andreja Hlinku 2, 949 76 Nitra.



elderberry-derived products, tea infusions, syrup, honey, beverages, DPPH radical


The aim of this study was to determine the basic morphological characteristics (weight, length) and antioxidant activity (using DPPH method) of elderberry (Sambucus nigra L.) inflorescences as well as some elderberry-derived food products prepared from fresh (honey, alcoholic extract, tea infusions) and dried inflorescences (syrup). For the study of problematic, it was used 113 wild-growing genotypes of elderberry from 56 locations in Slovakia growing at an altitude of 98.15 - 712.32 m. The weight of fresh inflorescences ranged from 0.45 to 57.59 g (75.65% coefficient of variation value), the total length of inflorescences ranged from 19.0 to 282.0 mm (22.42%), the length of inflorescence´s stems from 9.0 to 197.0 mm (31.51%), a number of petals predominated pentanumerous petals. Variability in primary and secondary branching reported a low to high degree of variability among as well as within the genotypes. Results showed significant differences in the shape of inflorescences and the colour of flowers among each genotype. Antioxidant activity by DPPH method in elderberry inflorescence water extract was between 85.12 and 89.29%. Activation of tea infusions and beverages was ensured using a mechanism Kalyxx based on galvanic effect. In beverages made from 10% diluted honey prepared from fresh inflorescences in the carbohydrate-based extract, anti-radical activity was determined in the range of 16.81 - 24.16%. In an alcoholic extract from fresh inflorescences, anti-radical activity was between 90.99 and 93.16%. In beverages acquired from the syrup of flowers, we identified antioxidant activity ranging from 37.92 (10%) to 62.82% (40%). Results indicated that elderberry inflorescences and elderberry-derived food products can be attractive to consumers and in future can increase the assortments of healthy products.


Download data is not yet available.


Atkinson, M. D., Atkinson, E. 2002. Sambucus nigra L. Journal of Ecology, vol. 90, p. 895-923.

Barnes, J., Anderson, L. A., Phillipson, D. J. 2002. Herbal Medicines. 2nd ed. London, UK : The Pharmaceutical Press, 187 p. ISBN 978-0-85369-623-0.

Beaux, D., Fleurentin, J., Mortier, F. 1999. Effect of extracts of Orthosiphon stamineus Benth, Hieracium pilosella L., Sambucus L. and Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (L.) Spreng. in rats. Phytotherapy Research, vol. 13, no. 3, p. 222-225.<222::AID-PTR447>3.0.CO;2-P

Bhattacharya, S., Christensen, K. B., Olsen, L. C. B., Christensen, L. P., Grevsen, K., Færgeman, N. J., Kristiansen, K., Young, J. F., Oksbjerg, N. 2013. Bioactive components from flowers of Sambucus nigra L. increase glucose uptake in primary porcine myotube cultures and reduce fat accumulation in Caenorhabditis elegans. Journal Agricultural Food Chemistry, vol. 61, no. 46, p. 11033-11040. PMid:24156563

Chen, L., Hu, J. Y., Wang, S. Q. 2012. The role of antioxidants in photoprotection: A critical review. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, vol. 67, no. 5, p. 1013-1024.


Christensen, K., Olsen, L., Kotowska, D., Bhattacharya, S., Fretté, X. C., Færgeman, N., Kristiansen, K., Oksbjerg, N., Christensen, L. 2010. Elderflowers (Sambucus nigra L.) have a significant impact on cellular mechanisms related to lipid storage and insulin resistance. In 58th International Congress and Annual Meeting of the Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research. Berlin : Germany. p. 1355 (P633).

Chrubasik, C., Maier, T., Dawid, C., Torda, T., Schieber, A., Hofmann, T., Chrubasik, S. 2008. An observation study and quantification of the actives in a supplement with Sambucus nigra and Asparagus officinalis used for weight reduction. Phytoterapy Research, vol. 22, no. 7, p. 913-918. PMid:18350516

Ciocoiu, M., Serban, D., Bădescu, L., Tutunaru, D., Badulescu, O., Bădescu, M. 2010. The effects of Sambucus nigra extract in experimental arterial hypertension. Annals of the Romanian Society for Cell Biology, vol. 15, no. 2, p. 87-92.

Diankov, S., Parlapanska, K. 2013. Extraction from Elderberry Flowers. Examination of Antioxidant Capacity and Total Phenolic Content of the Extracts. Journal of Chemical Technology and Metallurgy, vol. 48, no. 5, p. 479-482.

EMEA HMPC. 2007. Sambucus nigra L., flos - Assessment report for the development of community monographs and for inclusion of herbal substance(s), preparation(s) or combinations thereof in the list [online] s.a. [cit. 2017-10-30] Available at: EMEA/HMPC/283170/2007/Corr.

Fleming, T. 2000. PDR for Herbal Medicines. 2nd ed. Montvale, NJ : Medical Economics Company, 287 p. ISBN-13: 9781563633614.

Folmer, F., Basavaraju, U., Jaspars, M., Hold, G., El-Omar. E., Dicato, M., Diederich, M. 2014. Anticancer effects of bioactive berry compounds. Phytochemistry Reviews, vol. 13, no. 1, p. 295-322.

Fowler, M. J. 2010. Diagnosis, classification, and lifestyle treatment of diabetes. Clinical Diabetes, vol. 28, no. 2, p. 79-86.

Frøkiær, H., Henningsen, L., Metzdorff, S. B., Weiss, G., Roller, M., Flanagan, J., Fromentin, E., Ibarra, A. 2012. Astragalus root and elderberry fruit extracts enhance the IFN-β stimulatory effects of Lactobacillus acidophilus inmurine-derived dendritic cells. PLoS ONE, vol. 7, no. 10, p. e47878. PMid:23118903

Gray, A. M., Abel-Wahab, Y. H. A., Flatt, P. R. 2000. The traditional plant treatment, Sambucus nigra (elder), exhibits insulin-like and insulin-releasing actions in vitro. The Journal of Nutrition, vol. 130, no. 1, p. 15-20.


Grieve, M. 1971. A Modern Herbal. London, UK : Jonathan Cape Ltd, 888 p. ISBN 9780486227993.

Groza, M., Ciocoiu, M., Bădescu, L., Bădulescu, O., Bădescu, M. 2010. The effects of Sambucus nigra vegetal extracts on the immune system dysfunction in the diabetes mellitus. Annals of the Romanian Society for Cell Biology, vol. 15, no. 1, p. 241-246.

Hänsel, R., Keller, K., Rimpler, H. 1994. Hagers Handbuch der Pharmazeutischen Praxis. Drogen P-Z. 5th ed. Band 6. Berlin, Germany : Springer Verlag, 580 p. ISBN 978-3-642-57881-6.

Hearst, C., Mccollum, G., Nelson, D., Ballard, L. M., Millar, B. C., Goldsmith, C. E., Rooney, P. J., Loughrey, A., Moore, J. E., Rao, J. R. 2010. Antibacterial activity of elder (Sambucus nigra L.) flower or berry against hospital pathogens. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, vol. 4, no. 17, p. 1805-1809.

Hejný, S. 2001. Sambucus. In Mareček, F. et al. Garden Dictionary Teaching 5 R-Ž (Zahradnický slovník naučný 5 R-Ž). Prague, Czech Republic : Ústav zemědelských a potravinářských informací. p. 174-175. ISBN 80-7271-075-3.

Ivanišová, E., Kačániová, M., Frančáková, H., Petrová, J., Hutková, J., Brovarskyi, V., Velychko, S., Adamchuk, L., Schubertová, Z., Musilová, J. 2015. Bee bread - perspective source of bioactive compounds for future

Potravinarstvo, vol. 9, no. 1, p. 592-598.

Jarzycka, A., Lewińska, A., Gancarz, R., Wilk, K. A. 2013. Assessment of extracts of Helichrysum arenarium, Crataegus monogyna, Sambucus nigra in photoprotective UVA and UVB; photostability in cosmetic emulsions. Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology, vol. 128, p. 50-57. PMid:24007865

Kabuce, N. 2006. NOBANIS - Invasive Alien Species Fact Sheet - Sambucus nigra. - From: Online Database of the North European and Baltic Network on Invasive Alien Species - NOBANIS [online] s.a. [cit. 2017-10-30] Available at: http//

Karcheva, M., Penkina, E., Georgieva, S., Diankov, S. 2010. Comparative study of polyphenols content and antioxidant activity of Bulgarian and exotic plants, UFT Academic Publishing House. In Proceedings of International Conference on Food Science, Engineering and Technologies. Bulgaria, p. 375-380.

Kinoshita, E., Hayashi, K., Katayama, H., Hayashi, T. Obata, A. 2012. Anti-influenza virus effects of elderberry juice and its fractions. Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry, vol. 76, no. 9, p. 1633-1638. PMid:22972323

Kong, F. 2009. Pilot clinical study on a proprietary elderberry extract: Efficacy in addressing influenza symptoms. Online Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacokinetics, vol. 5, p. 32-43.

Krawitz, C., Mraheil, M. A., Stein, M., Imirzalioglu, C., Domann, E., Pleschka, S., Hain, T. 2011. Inhibitory activity of a standardized elderberry liquid extract against clinically-relevant human respiratory bacterial pathogens and influenza A and B viruses. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 11, no. 16.

Mikulic-Petkovsek, M., Samoticha, J., Eler, K., Stampar, F., Veberic, R. 2015. Traditional elderflower beverages: a rich source of phenolic compounds with high antioxidant activity. Journal Agricultural Food Chemistry, vol. 63, no. 5, p. 1477-1487. PMid:25646848

Miraj, S. 2016. Chemical composition and pharmacological effects of Sambucus nigra. Der Pharma Chemica, vol. 8, no. 13, p. 231-234.

Młynarczyk, K., Walkowiak-Tomczak, D. 2017. Bioactive properties of elderflowers (Sambucus nigra L.). World Scientific News, vol. 73, no. 2, p. 115-119.

Netzel, M., Strass, G., Herbst, M., Dietrich, H., Bitsch, R., Bitsch, I., Frank, I. 2005. The excretion and biological antioxidant activity of elderberry antioxidants in healthy humans. Food Research International, vol. 38, no. 8-9, p. 905-910.

Paganová, V. 2001. Fundamentals of dendrology. Autochthonous scraps of wood (Základy dendrológie. Autochtónne krovité dreviny). Nitra, Slovakia : Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, 179 p. ISBN 80-7137-937-9.

Petruţ, G. S., Muste, S., Mureșan, C., Păucean, A., Mureşan, A. E., Nagy, M. 2017. Chemical Profiles and Antioxidant Activity of Black Elder (Sambucus nigra L.) - A Review. Bulletin UASVM Food Science and Technology, vol. 74, no. 1, p. 9-16.

Picon, P. D., Picon, R. V., Costa, A. F., Sander, G. B., Amaral, K. M., Aboy, A. L., Henriques, A. T. 2010. Randomized clinical trial of a phytotherapic compound containing Pimpinella anisum, Foeniculum vulgare, Sambucus nigra, and Cassia augustifolia for chronic constipation. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 10, p. 17.

Song, Y., Wu, T., Yang, Q., Chen, X., Wang, M., Wang, Y., Peng, X., Ou, S. 2014. Ferulic acid alleviates the symptoms of diabetes in obese rats. Journal of Functional Foods, vo. 9, p. 141-147.

Stoilova, I., Wilker, M., Stoyanova, A., Krastanov, A., Stanchev, V. 2007. Antioxidant activity of extract from elder flower (Sambucus nigra L.). Herba Polonica, vol. 53, no. 1, p. 45-54.

Tarko, T., Duda-Chodak, A., Semik, D., Nycz, M. 2015. The use of fruit extracts for production of beverages with high antioxidative activity. Potravinarstvo, vol. 9, no. 1, p. 280-283.

Thole, J. M., Burns Kraft, T. F., Sueiro, L. A., Kang, Y. H., Gills, J. J., Cuendet, M., Pezzuto, J. M., Seigler, D. S., Lila, M. A. 2006. A comparative evaluation of the anticancer properties of European and American elderberry fruits. Journal of Medicinal Food, vol. 9, no. 4, p. 498-504. PMid:17201636

Tomášková, L., Sochor, J., Baroň, M. 2017. The study of antioxidants in grapevine seeds. Potravinarstvo Slovak Journal of Food Sciences, vol. 11, no. 1, p. 132-137.

Toulemonde, B., Richard, H. M. J. 1983. Volatile Constituents of Dry Elder (Sambucus nigra L.) Flowers. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, vol. 31, no. 2, p. 365-370.

Watson, L., Dallwitz, M. J. 1992. The families of flowering plants: descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information retrieval [online] s.a. [cit. 2017-10-24] Available at:

Waźbińska, J. 2000. Alternative plants in gardens and parks in north-eastern Poland (Rośliny alternatywne w uprawach ogrodowych i parkowych północno-wschodniej Polski). Biuletyn Nauk. UWM Olsztyn, vol. 8, p. 309-315.

Waźbińska, J., Puczel, U. 2002. Fruit characteristics of the elderbery (Sambucus nigra L.) grown on two different soils. Journal of Fruit and Ornamental Plant Research, vol. 10, p. 117-128.

Willer, B. 1997. Untersuchungen zur Antiasthmatischen Wirkung von Sambucus nigra : dissertation theses. München : University of Regensburg, Faculty Chemistry & Pharmacy. 25 p.

WHO - World Human Organisation. 2002. Monographs on Selected Medicinal Plants. Geneva, vol. 2, 269 p.




How to Cite

Horčinová Sedláčková, V. ., Grygorieva, O. ., Fatrcová-Šramková, K. ., Vergun, O. ., Vinogradova, Y. ., Ivanišová, E. ., & Brindza, J. . (2018). The morphological and antioxidant characteristics of inflorescences within wild-growing genotypes of elderberry (Sambucus nigra L.). Potravinarstvo Slovak Journal of Food Sciences, 12(1), 444–453.

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 3 4 5 6 > >>