Ocimum basilicum var. purpurascens leaves (red rubin basil): a source of bioactive compounds and natural pigments for the food industry
Ocimum basilicum var. purpurascens (red rubin basil) is a variety rich in anthocyanin compounds, commonly used by the food industry as an aromatic plant. In this study, the nutritional and chemical composition of red rubin basil leaves was analysed, as well as, the antimicrobial activity and hepatotoxicity of the hydroethanolic extract. Carbohydrates were the main macronutrients present, being glucose the major free sugar. Quinic acid was the most abundant organic acid, while γ-tocopherol was the highest tocopherol isoform found. α-Linolenic acid was the major fatty acid of the twenty identified compounds. Regarding polyphenols, twenty-six molecules were identified (thirteen non-anthocyanins and thirteen anthocyanin compounds), being rosmarinic acid the main non-anthocyanin molecule and cyanidin-3-(6,6´-di-p-coumaroyl)-sophoroside-5-glcucoside the most abundant anthocyanin. These compounds could be related to the antimicrobial activity observed in this study. Thus, this variety could be considered a good source of add value molecules for the food industry.