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Antioxidant and micronutrient quality of fruit and root vegetables from the Indian subcontinent and their comparative performance with green leafy vegetables and fruits

Tarwadi, K., Agte, V.
Journal of the science of food and agriculture 2005 v.85 no.9 pp. 1469-1476
nutrient content, free radicals, root vegetables, assays, green leafy vegetables, fruit composition, antioxidant activity, mineral content, antioxidants, India
Commonly consumed, fruit vegetables (12) and root vegetables (15) in the Indian subcontinent in cooked and uncooked states assessed for inhibition of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), superoxide radical scavenging activity (SOSA), ferrous iron chelating ability (FICA) and nine micronutrients, exhibited large variability in these parameters. SOSA and FICA were significantly associated (r = 0.803, p < 0.001) with each other. Inhibition of TBARS showed marginal correlation with both FICA (0.38, p < 0.05) and SOSA (0.29, p > 0.05). There were significant cooking losses for each of the assessed antioxidant capacity parameters (p < 0.05). Contents of ascorbic acid, per 100 g of cooked fruit and root vegetables were high (61.9 and 31.3% of recommended daily allowance (RDA)). However, both the food classes were not good sources of beta-carotene, riboflavin and thiamine (1.66-5.26% RDA). When compared with our data on 30 cooked green leafy vegetables (GLV) and 30 fresh fruits, root vegetables showed significantly (p < 0.05) higher levels of zinc and selenium. Cooked root vegetables were comparable with cooked GLVs but uncooked GLVs gave the highest values for inhibition of TBARS (0.73 +/- 0.21 mM vitamin E/100g). SOSA (40.7 +/- 15.6 mM tannic acid/100g) and FICA (41.6 +/- 14.9 mM EDTA/100g) were highest for uncooked fruit vegetables. Root vegetables had the highest levels of polyphenols (251.4 +/- 107.3 mg/100g). For the present study, popular fruits and vegetables such as guava, spinach, bitter gourd (Momordica charantia), yam, ginger and beetroot, and also less common ones like bael (Aegle marmelos), kokum (Garcinia indica) and mango-ginger (Curcuma ameda), showed potential in vitro to combat oxidative stress.