Comparative evaluation of the antioxidant potential of infant cereals produced from purple wheat and red rice grains and LC-MS analysis of their anthocyanins.J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Dec 14; 59(23):12330-41.JA
Cellular oxidative damage by endogenous and exogenous sources of free radicals and reactive oxygen species is a particular threat in infants. Antioxidant protection is normally achieved through a balance between pro-oxidants and endogenous and/or dietary antioxidants. Comprehensive research is required on optimization to achieve good antioxidant protection through infant foods, in particular, the commercially available infant cereals. This study therefore investigated the properties of whole purple wheat, unpolished red rice, and partially polished red rice before and after processing to produce infant cereals. Total phenolic content (TPC), total anthocyanin content (TAC), oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC), individual anthocyanin components, and cellular antioxidant activity were measured. Home-made and laboratory-made pigmented infant cereals differed in that the latter required longer exposure to higher temperature and enzymatic hydrolysis. Home-made and laboratory-made unpolished red rice infant cereals showed higher total phenolic contents and peroxyl radical scavenging activity than home-made and laboratory-made purple wheat infant cereals; however, the latter had higher TAC. Pigmented infant cereals generally had higher TPC, TAC, and ORAC than the commercial ones (p < 0.05). Anthocyanins were identified in whole purple wheat, but they were not detected in unpolished red rice. C-Glycosyl apigenin was found in both whole purple wheat and unpolished red rice. Processing significantly decreased anthocyanin and C-glycosyl apigenin contents (p < 0.05). Purple wheat infant cereals had higher cellular antioxidant activity than unpolished red rice ones (p < 0.05). Whole purple wheat infant cereals showed higher antioxidant activity than the commercial infant cereal, suggesting a possibility of improving infant antioxidant status by incorporating this grain in their diet.