Polar and lipophilic extracts characterization of roots, stalks, leaves and flowers of water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), and insights for its future valorization.
Eichhornia crassipes is an invasive plant whose individual morphological parts (roots, stalks, leaves, flowers) were studied for the first time in terms of polar and lipophilic extractives. The former attained yields between 10.0% (wt.), for roots, and 28.84% (wt.), for stalks. Concerning lipophilic extracts, 29 compounds were identified by GC-MS and yields ranged from 1.12% (wt.) for roots to 4.45% (wt.) for flowers. Among these compounds, stigmasterol obtained from stalks and leaves exhibited values up to 4437 mg kgbiomass-1 and concentrations up to 15.15 wt.%, placing E. crassipes as one of the richest vegetal sources for this molecule. Moreover, polar extracts from leaves exhibited very strong antioxidant activity as well as the highest concentration in phenolics, rendering leaves the major provision of this family of compounds within the studied morphological parts. In the whole, this study suggests that leaves and stalks of E. crassipes are a noteworthy source of stigmasterol and antioxidant extracts, which may open the way for the valorization of this fast growing invasive species.