Antioxidant capacity and phenolic content in leaf extracts of tree spinach (Cnidoscolus spp.).J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Jan 14; 52(1):117-21.JA
Total phenolic content and antioxidant capacity of two tree spinach species (Cnidoscolus chayamansa McVaugh and C. aconitifolius Miller.) were determined in raw and cooked leaf extracts. Antioxidant capacity was assessed by the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) assay, and flavonoid glycoside composition was quantified by HPLC and identified by GC. Total phenolics and antioxidant capacity were higher in raw than in cooked leaf extracts. The ORAC values were strongly correlated with total phenolic content (r = 0.926) in all leaf extracts. The major flavonoids isolated from the leaf extracts were kaempferol-3-O-glycosides and quercetin-3-O-glycosides. C. aconitifolius leaves contained more varieties of the flavonoid glycosides than C. chayamansa. Cooking reduced antioxidant activity and phenolic content and resulted in losses of some kaempferol glycoside and quercetin glycoside residues in leaf extracts. The results of this study indicate that tree spinach leaves are a rich source of natural antioxidants for foods.