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Antioxidant capacity of some herbs/spices from Cameroon: a comparative study of two methods

Agbor, G.A., Oben, J.E., Ngogang, J.Y., Cai, X., Vinson, J.A.
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2005 v.53 no.17 pp. 6819-6824
herbs, spices, antioxidant activity, antioxidants, assays, Cameroon
This study evaluates the antioxidant capacity of 14 herbs/spices from Cameroon. Freeze-dried samples extracted in methanol (free or unconjugated polyphenol) and in 1.2 M hydrochloric acid (HCl) in methanol (total antioxidant that is both unconjugated and conjugated) were analyzed using two different antioxidant assay methods [Folin-Ciocalteu reagent (Folin) and the ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP)]. The 1.2 M HCl in methanol extracts had significantly higher (P < 0.001) antioxidant capacities than the methanolic extract. Generally, the FRAP antioxidant values were significantly (P < 0.001) higher than the Folin antioxidant values. Although a significant correlation (P < 0.05) was obtained between the Folin phenol and the FRAP antioxidant, the trends of the antioxidant capacity of the samples were different for the Folin and FRAP methods. The leaves of the Piper species top the total antioxidant tables in both Folin and FRAP assay methods, respectively. Irvingia gabonensis tops the FRAP free antioxidant list, while Piper umbellatum leads the Folin free antioxidant followed by Thymus vulgaris. Thus, the antioxidant capacity of plant samples determined by different methods should be interpreted with caution. However, irrespective of the assay method used, the samples were rich in antioxidants.