Volume 3 Issue 2 - 2018
Passiflora spp: Uses and Patents
Ana Maria Costa*
Embrapa Cerrados, Cx.Postal: 08223, Brasília, DF,- 73310-970, Brazil
*Corresponding Author: Ana Maria Costa, Embrapa Cerrados, Cx. Postal: 08223, Brasília, DF, 73310-970, Brazil.
Received: July, 04 2018; Published: August 11, 2018
The Passiflora genus belongs to Passifloraceae family. The genus is highly diverse, with approximately 534 species (ESASHIKA, 2018). Most of them (96%) are distributed in the Tropical Americas, mainly in Brazil (145 species), although there are records of species in India, China, Southeastern Asia, Australia, the Pacific Islands, and neighboring regions (examples Passiflora aurantia G.Forst., Passiflora cinnabarina Lindl, Passiflora herbertiana Ker Gawl. , Passiflora cupiformis Mast., Passiflora henryi Hemsl,  Passiflora jugorum W.W.Sm., Passiflora moluccana Reinw., and Passiflora siamica Craib) (THE PLANT LIST, 2013).
The ethnopharmacology from different countries uses Passiflora species for phytotherapic purpose, mainly for treatment of nervous and endocrinal systems problems. Furthermore, many species present potential for food and cosmetic uses (COSTA, 2017; DHAWAN., et al. 2004). The analysis of international patents banks could be a good way to identify the industries interest and guide new research lines.
The search for the expression “passion fruit or passiflora” in the patents database WIPO (2017) and EPO (2017) return 454 and 968 documents respectively, of which only 500 were released for consultation at the EPO database. After the discard of the duplicate entries, it was possible to identify 813 different technologies. From these, approximately 9% were developed to the cosmetic industry; 25% to the pharmaceutical and phytotherapeutic area; 48% to the food and beverage area and 5% to the industry in general. In respect to the agronomic area, it was verified that 14% of the technologies had the purpose of gaining productivity (agronomic production methods, molecular marker, genes construction, and tissue cultures methods), and better condition to conservation of fruits of the Passiflora spp (postharvest).
Only 30% of the documents identified the specie of Passiflora used. Of the species identified 32% used Passiflora edulis Sims (pulp, seeds, peel, whole fruits or leafs) as an ingredient to food formulations, raw mater to obtain phenolic acids, piceatannol, fatty acids to food or cosmetics/ phytotherapic formulation, and fermentative substrates.
The Passiflora caerulea L. (20%) and Passiflora incarnata L. (11%) were used mainly as a raw mater to obtain extract enriched in flavonoids compounds to prepare formulas to help the good function of the nervous system. Extracts of P. caerulea were developed and used as a flavoring to improve sensory properties of functional foods formulations.
The Passiflora wilsonii Hemsl. was the most often in registered formulation used by traditional Chinese medicine. The formulations were intended for the proper functioning of the nervous, digestive and endocrine system.
Technologies for medicinal, functional and cosmetic purposes have also been registered, having extracts of de Passiflora alata Curtis (1,5%); Passiflora alliacea Barb. (0,5%); Passiflora antioquiensis H.Karst  (0,5%); Passiflora cochinchinensis Spreng (2%); Passiflora cupiformis Mast (1%); Passiflora foetida L. (3,4%); Passiflora henryi Hems (4%); Passiflora jugorum W.W.Sm (0,5%); Passiflora mollissima H. B. K. (0,5%); Passiflora moluccana Reinw (2,4%); Passiflora papilio H.L.Li (2,4%); Passiflora perpera Mast. (0,5%); and Passiflora quadrangulares L.(0,5%).
Of the technologies that involved biotechnological applications, the fermentative processes stand out, which comprised 8.1% of the technologies deposited. In the category, it was verified the predominance of formulations and processes to obtain fermented beverages (48%), followed by food with functional appeal (20%), ingredient for use in food and herbal agroindustry (18%) and agriculture (8%). Fermented drinks with passifloras (with or without herbs, spices, fruits and cereals, dairy products or probiotics) comprised 38% of the technologies in the sector, the others being for teas (26%) and 41% of unfermented beverages. Of these 53% of the technologies were presented with a claim of health benefit.
All the information presented allowed to conclude that there is a great concentration of technological development focused on health; foods and beverages with sensory quality and preferably with health claims; and a vast opportunity to prospect new natural assets, aromas and dyes, considering that there are still few species studied in the face of the diversity of the Passiflora genus.
  1. Esashika, d.a.s. Fenologia e morfometria de flores e frutos de espécies e híbridos de passiflora spp. Visando ao melhoramento genético. Brasília: faculdade de agronomia e medicina veterinária, universidade de brasília, (2018): 129.
  2. The plant list. The plant lis. V.1.1, 2013. Available in http:/www.theplantlist.org/. Access in jun, 2018.
  3. Dhawan k., et al.Passiflora: a review update”. Journal of ethnopharmacology 94.1 (2004): 1-23.
  4. Costa, a.m. Propriedade das passifloras como medicamento e alimento funcional. In junghans, t.g.; jesus o.n. Maracujá do cultivo à comercialização. Embrapa (2017): 299-318.
  5. WIPO. Access in 28 feb, 2017. https://patentscope.wipo.int/search/pt/result.jsf?currentNavigationRow=next&prevCurrentNavigationRow=2&query=FP:(passion%20fruit)%20OR%20passiflora&office=&sortOption=Data%20pub%20ordem%20inversa&prevFilter=&maxRec=454)
  6. EPO, Espacenet. Access in 28 feb, 2017. https://worldwide.espacenet.com/
Citation: Ana Maria Costa. “Passiflora spp: Uses and Patents”. Nutrition and Food Toxicology 3.2 (2018): 643-644.
Copyright: © 2018 Ana Maria Costa. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.