Analysis of the nutritional composition of round-leaved mallow (Malva pusilla) leaves
Malva pusilla (MP), known as round-leaved mallow, is one of the undesirable plants due to its harmful effects on crop fields. This study aimed to evaluate its nutritional composition in order to reveal the possible beneficial aspects of this plant. Leaves of MP were analysed for their fatty acid profile, mineral composition, and phenolic content. The study results showed that MP has greater phenolic (95.42 ±5.25 mg GAE/g) extract and flavonoid (40.8 ±3.01 mg CE/g DW) contents compared to literature data of Malva parviflora, a Malva species known for its phenolic and flavonoid content. In addition, α-linoleic acid was detected to be the most abundant fatty acid content (56.25±1.83%). Thus, this species might be used as an antioxidant agent given its high phenolic, flavonoid and n-3 fatty acid content. In addition, this species has a recognizable content in terms of Mg, Zn, K, Ca and Fe (1422.4 ±6.57, 115.42 ±0.33, 444.32 ±2.13, 5594.26 ±64.22 and 65.63 ±0.28 mg/100 g DM, respectively). These findings showed that MP could be a promising plant for the food, supplement or health industries.