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Exploring reserve lots of Cymbopogon citratus, Aloysia citrodora and Thymus × citriodorus as improved sources of phenolic compounds

Rita, Ingride, Pereira, Carla, Barros, Lillian, Ferreira, Isabel C.F.R.
Food chemistry 2018 v.257 pp. 83-89
Aloysia citrodora, Cymbopogon citratus, antioxidant activity, beverage industry, chemical composition, essential oil crops, flavonoids, free radical scavengers, harvesting, lipid peroxidation, phenolic acids, rosmarinic acid, tea, value-added products, verbascoside
Given the increasing consumers demand for novelty, tea companies have been presenting new added value products such as reserve lots of aromatic plants. Herein, infusions from different lots of three aromatic plants were assessed in terms of phenolic composition (HPLC-DAD-ESI/MS) and antioxidant properties (reducing power, free radical scavenging and lipid peroxidation inhibition capacity). Cymbopogon citratus (C. citratus; main compound 5-O-caffeoylquinic acid) and Aloysia citrodora (A. citrodora; prevalence of verbascoside) reserve lots revealed higher phenolic compounds concentration than the respective standard lots. Thymus × citriodorus (T. citriodorus; main compound rosmarinic acid) standard lot presented higher amounts of phenolic acids than the reserve lot, nonetheless, total flavonoids and phenolic compounds were not significantly different. The differences between both lots antioxidant activity were more noticeable in C. citratus, with the reserve lot presenting the highest activity. This study provides evidence of the differences between these plants chemical composition and bioactivity depending on the harvesting conditions.