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Total Phenolic Compounds, Flavonoids, and Radical Scavenging Activity of 21 Selected Tropical Plants

Mustafa, R.A., Hamid, A.Abdul, Mohamed, S., Bakar, F. Abu
Journal of food science 2010 v.75 no.1 pp. C28
phenolic compounds, flavonoids, free radical scavengers, tropical and subtropical horticulture, medicinal plants, plant extracts, antioxidant activity, Cosmos, Piper betle, Lawsonia inermis, natural additives
Free radical scavenging activity of 21 tropical plant extracts was evaluated using 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl assay (DPPH). Total phenolic compounds and flavonoids were determined using Folin-Ciocalteu and HPLC, respectively. Results of the study revealed that all the plants tested exhibited excellent antioxidant activity with IC₅₀ in the range of 21.3 to 89.6 μg/mL. The most potent activity was demonstrated by Cosmos caudatus (21.3 μg/mL) and Piper betle (23.0 μg/mL) that are not significantly different than that of [graphic removed] -tocopherol or BHA. L. inermis extract was found to consist of the highest concentration of phenolics, catechin, epicatechin, and naringenin. High content of quercetin, myricetin, and kaempferol were identified in Vitex negundo, Centella asiatica, and Sesbania grandiflora extracts, respectively. Luteolin and apigenin, on the other hand, were found in Premna cordifolia and Kaempferia galanga extracts. Strong correlation (R = 0.8613) between total phenolic compounds and total flavonoids (R = 0.8430) and that of antioxidant activity of the extracts were observed. The study revealed that phenolic, in particular flavonoids, may be the main contributors to the antioxidant activity exhibited by the plants. Practical Application: Potent antioxidant from natural sources is of great interest to replace the use of synthetic antioxidants. In addition, some of the plants have great potential to be used in the development of functional ingredients/foods that are currently in demand for the health benefits associated with their use.