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A comparison of the phenolic profile and antioxidant activity of different Cichorium spinosum L. ecotypes

Petropoulos, Spyridon A, Fernandes, Ângela, Barros, Lillian, Ferreira, Isabel CFR
Journal of the science of food and agriculture 2018 v.98 no.1 pp. 183-189
Cichorium spinosum, Mediterranean diet, antioxidant activity, antioxidants, ecotypes, flavonoids, food industry, green leafy vegetables, leaves, phenolic acids, wild plants
BACKGROUND: Wild greens are considered a rich source of phenolic compounds and antioxidants and an essential part of the so‐called Mediterranean diet. In the present study, Cichorium spinosum L. ecotypes, cultivated or collected in situ from wild plants from the eastern Mediterranean, were evaluated regarding their phenolic composition and antioxidant activity. RESULTS: Significant differences were observed among the various studied ecotypes regarding their phenolic compound content and profile, especially between wild and cultivated ecotypes, as well as the phenolic acid content between commercial products and cultivated plants. The antioxidant activity also varied among the various studied ecotypes and growing conditions, with commercial products having the highest antioxidant activity, whereas wild ecotypes showed lower antioxidant activity. CONCLUSION: Cichorium spinosum leaves are a rich source of chicoric and 5‐O‐caffeoylquinic acid, while significant differences in total phenolic acids, flavonoids and phenolic compound content and in antioxidant activity were observed among the studied ecotypes, as well as between the tested growing conditions. According to the results of the present study, further valorization of C. spinosum species has great potential, since it could be used as a new alternative species in the food industry. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry