Phytochemical Characterization of Five Edible Purple-Reddish Vegetables: Anthocyanins, Flavonoids, and Phenolic Acid Derivatives

Frond A. D., Iuhas C. I., Stirbu I., Leopold L., Socaci S., Andreea S., ...More

MOLECULES, vol.24, no.8, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 24 Issue: 8
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/molecules24081536
  • Journal Name: MOLECULES
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes


Vegetables comprise a significant portion of our daily diet with their high content in nutrients including fiber, vitamins, minerals, as well as phenolic compounds. Vegetable consumption has been shown to be positively associated with the prevention of several degenerative diseases thanks to their bioactive compounds. Accordingly, five selected vegetables, namely, red chicory, red onion, eggplant, purple sweet potato, and black carrot were thoroughly assessed for their phenolic content in this study. For this purpose, the total phenolic and flavonoid content of these five vegetables and their antioxidant activities that are based on three common methods ABTS radical cation decolorization assay (ABTS), Cupric Ion Reducing Antioxidant Capacity (CUPRAC), and DPPH scavenging activity assay were determined. Additionally, HPLC-PDA/Electrospray ionization coupled with mass spectrometry (HPLC-PDA/-ESI+-MS)-based identification and quantification of the members belonging to polyphenols present in each vegetable were determined. Statistical correlations between antioxidant activities and the specific type of phenolic compounds, such as anthocyanins, flavonoids, anthocyanins, and phenolic acids were further elucidated. Phenolic acids (chlorogenic and syringic acids) were found to be the most abundant compounds that are present in all samples. Among the anthocyanins, cyaniding derivatives were present in all vegetables. In terms of their antioxidant activities, the analyzed vegetables were ranked as red chicory > purple sweet potato > black carrot > eggplant > red onion, in descending order. Superior antioxidant activities exhibited by red chicory and purple sweet potato were attributed to the high content of phenolic compounds, especially flavonols (quercetin-3,4-O-diglucoside) in red chicory and anthocyanins (peonidin-3-caffeoyl p-hydroxybenzoylsophoroside-5-glucoside) in purple sweet potato.