Phytosterols are bioactive components of all vegetable foods. Their most studied and outstanding properties being their cholesterol-lowering activity. This property has led to the development of functional foods enriched with plant sterols. In the present study, total and conjugated sterols of Tunisian safflower seeds were investigated and their kinetic of accumulation was surveyed during the ripening stages. The results obtained revealed that total and individual phytosterols were actively accumulated during the first stages of seed development then their levels decreased until full maturity. In the other hand, the sterol profile was marked by the predominance of β-sitosterol during all ripening stages. As for Free Sterols (FS) and Esterified Sterols (ES), they were the major components and were actively accumulated from the beginning of seed development. Nevertheless, their amounts decreased at the end of maturity while Steryl Glycosides (SG) and acylated sterylglycosides (ASG) were practically stable during the ripening of seeds.
Ibtissem Hamrouni-Sellami , Hamadi Ben Salah , Mohamed Elyes Kchouk and Brahim Marzouk , 2007. Variations in Phytosterol Composition During the Ripening of Tunisian Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) Seeds. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, 10: 3829-3834.