Effect of the herbs used in the formulation of a Spanish herb liqueur, Herbero de la Sierra de Mariola, on its chemical and functional compositions and antioxidant and antimicrobial activities

  • Hanán Issa-Issa
  • Eva Ivanišová
  • Luis Noguera-Artiaga
  • Attila Kántor
  • David López-Lluch
  • Miroslava Kačániová
  • Antoni Szumny
  • Ángel A. Carbonell-BarrachinaEmail author


Herbero de la Sierra de Mariola is a traditional Spanish herb liqueur which can have up to 15 different plants. The aim of this study was to help in deciding which are the best suited herbs to be used to prepare a liqueur with the highest contents of bioactive compounds and their functional properties. Chemical parameters (FT-IR spectroscopy), total contents of bioactive compounds (polyphenols, flavonoids, and phenolic acids), sensory quality (total content of volatile compounds and aroma intensity), antioxidant activity (DPPH and ABTS+), and antimicrobial activity, and sensory intensity were the parameters studied. In general, the best highest contents of the bioactive compounds and functional activities were found in liqueurs of the Lamiaceae family. An optimized version of this traditional liqueur might contain (i) winter savory, (ii) fennel, (iii) thyme, and (iv) peppermint. This study can be an example of how the scientific knowledge can be used to optimize traditional products, such as an Herbero de la Sierra de Mariola, and why not also to support the advantages of these products to establish future marketing campaigns.


Alcoholic beverages Antimicrobial activity Antioxidant activity Lamiaceae family Product optimization 



Authors want to thank Consejo Regulador Bebidas Espirituosas Tradicionales de Alicante ( for kindly providing the all liqueurs used in this study. Luis Noguera-Artiaga was funded by an FPU grant from the Spanish government (FPU014/01874).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Compliance with ethics requirements

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hanán Issa-Issa
    • 1
  • Eva Ivanišová
    • 2
  • Luis Noguera-Artiaga
    • 1
  • Attila Kántor
    • 2
  • David López-Lluch
    • 3
  • Miroslava Kačániová
    • 4
    • 5
  • Antoni Szumny
    • 6
  • Ángel A. Carbonell-Barrachina
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Grupo Calidad y Seguridad Alimentaria (CSA), Departamento de Tecnología Agroalimentaria, Escuela Politécnica Superior de Orihuela (EPSO)Universidad Miguel Hernández de Elche (UMH)OrihuelaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Plant Storage and Processing, Faculty of Biotechnology and Food ScienceSlovak University of Agriculture in NitraNitraSlovakia
  3. 3.Departamento de Economía AgroambientalIngeniería Cartográfica y Expresión Gráfica en la Ingeniería, EPSO, UMHOrihuelaSpain
  4. 4.Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Biotechnology and Food ScienceSlovak University of Agriculture in NitraNitraSlovakia
  5. 5.Bioenergetics and Food Analysis, Faculty of Biology and AgricultureRzeszow UniversityRzeszowPoland
  6. 6.Faculty of Food Science, Department of ChemistryWrocław University of Environmental and Life SciencesWrocławPoland

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