Phenolic, flavonoid, and lutein ester content and antioxidant activity of 11 cultivars of chinese marigold.J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Oct 17; 55(21):8478-84.JA
This study analyzed 11 Chinese cultivars of marigold to determine their major phytochemical contents and antioxidant activities. Dried marigold flowers were extracted with ethanol, ethyl acetate, and n-hexane and the extracts were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and chemical methods to determine their lutein esters, phenolic and flavonoid contents, and antioxidant activity, respectively. The different cultivars of marigold showed considerable variations in their lutein ester contents, ranging from 161.0 to 611.0 mg/100 g of flower (dry basis). The lutein esters in marigolds consisted predominantly of six all trans-diesters, but small amounts of cis isomers of the respective diesters were also present. The different cultivars of marigold also showed marked variations in total phenols and flavonoids, as well as antioxidant and radical-scavenging activities. Ethanol was confirmed to be the best solvent for extracting both phenols and flavonoids from marigold flowers, while n-hexane was the worst. The ethanolic extracts also exhibited the highest antioxidant and radical-scavenging activities. The cultivar Xinhong had the highest phenolic and flavonoid contents and radical-scavenging activity, as well as one of the highest lutein contents and antioxidant activities.