Alkylperoxyl radical scavenging activity of red leaf lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) phenolics
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 51(16): 4589-4595
Although lettuce may provide relatively low levels of antioxidative phytochemicals which may contribute to human health, lettuce leaf extracts in fact contained compounds with high specific peroxyl radical scavenging activities. After determining the extraction conditions that minimized phenolic oxidation and produced the highest oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) values, the phenolic compounds from red leaf lettuce were separated by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The primary phenolic compounds in the leaf tissue extracts were mono- and dicaffeoyltartaric acid (CTA and DCTA), mono- and dicaffeoylquinic acid (CQA and DCQA), quercetin 3-malonylglucoside (QMG), quercetin 3-glucoside (QG), cyanidin 3-malonylglucoside (CMG), and an unknown phenolic ester (UPE). Significant levels of DCQA were only found after wounding. Using the new fluorescein-based ORAC assay procedures, fractions from the HPLC analyses were assayed for peroxyl radical absorbance capacity. Using absorbance to estimate concentration, the decreasing order of contribution to the total ORAC value of an extract from wounded tissue was QMG > DCQA > CMG > DCTA > UPE > QG > CTA. The decreasing order of the specific peroxyl radical scavenging activities was CMG > QG > DCTA > DCQA > QMG > UPE > CQA > CTA. Since the concentrations of plant flavonoid and phenolic acid esters are sensitive to environmental factors, this information may be used to develop pre- and postharvest conditions which increase the dietary benefits of leaf lettuce.