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Functional Teas from the Leaves of Arbutus unedo: Phenolic Content, Antioxidant Activity, and Detection of Efficient Radical Scavengers

Erkekoglou, Ioannis, Nenadis, Nikolaos, Samara, Efrosini, Mantzouridou, Fani Th.
Plant foods for human nutrition 2017 v.72 no.2 pp. 176-183
2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl, Arbutus unedo, antioxidant activity, boiling, cations, dietary supplements, flavonols, food industry, free radical scavengers, gallic acid, health promotion, herbal tea, hydrogen peroxide, leaves, liquids, oxidation, oxidative stress, quercitrin
The phenolic content/composition and antioxidant activity of hot/cold infusion and decoction from the leaves of Arbutus unedo were studied for the first time. 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH●), 2,2′-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) radical cation (ABTS●⁺), crocin-bleaching, copper-reducing, and liposome accelerated oxidation assays were used for the evaluation of the activity in vitro. In vivo, the extracts were examined for their ability to protect S. cerevisiae cells from H₂O₂ induced oxidative stress. An on-line high-performance liquid chromatography-DPPH● assay was applied to identify potent radical scavengers and comment on their contribution to the total activity. The addition of leaves to boiling water (decoction) was the most appropriate practice to apply since the highest phenol intake (220.2 mg gallic acid/cup served) was obtained. Additionally, its antioxidant activity was equal or superior to that of the other extracts. Flavonols (~51–61 mg/g dry extract) were the main phenols in all the extracts, with quercitrin accounting for ~20% of the total phenol amount. The on-line DPPH● method verified the high potency of the decoction and indicated as the most active radical scavengers, two galloylquinic acid derivatives and myricitrin, accounting for ~28–45% and ~11–13% of the total scavenging, respectively. Present data may contribute to the future exploitation of A. unedo leaves by the food industry for health-promoting herbal tea preparations and dietary supplements.