This study was carried out to investigate the antioxidant activities and phenolic compounds of pigmented rice (black, red, and green rice) and brown rice brans. Antioxidant activity was determined by using 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical assay, 2,2-azino-bis-(3-ethylenebenzothiozoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS) radical cation assay, reducing power, and chelating ability. Phenolic compounds were measured by using HPLC. Pigmented rice brans were extracted by using aqueous mixtures of acetone, ethanol, and methanol to determine the most effective extraction solvent. Of all solvents examined, extract from 40:60 acetone-water mixtures (v/v) provided the highest DPPH radical assay as well as the highest total phenolic and flavonoid content. We finally selected 40% acetone as an extraction solvent for antioxidant study of pigmented rice bran. Antioxidant activities of 40% acetone extracts of pigmented rice bran, measured in the range of 0 to 1500 μg/mL. At 500 μg/mL concentration, red rice bran, which had the highest total phenolic (259.5 μg/mg) and total flavonoid (187.4 μg/mg) contents, showed the highest antioxidant activity: 83.6%, 71.5%, 1.2%, and 16.4% for DPPH radical assay, ABTS radical cation assay, reducing power, and chelating ability, respectively. Red rice bran showed a lower EC(50) value (112.6 μg/mL) than that of butylated hydroxytoluene (144.5 μg/mL) from the DPPH radical assay. The major phenolic acids of red rice bran were ferulic, vanillic and p-coumaric acids. The results indicated pigmented rice bran might be used as a natural antioxidant.
The present study revealed black and red rice bran shows high antioxidant activities and they contain high amount of phenolic compounds. Indeed, black and red rice bran could be better raw materials for manufacturing the food with high antioxidant activity.