Flavonoid Contents and Antioxidant Activity in Fruit, Vegetables and Other Types of Food


Flavonoids are a class of natural polyphenolic compounds which cannot be synthesized by humans. These substances possess a series of biological properties, acting on biological systems as antioxidants. The purpose of this study was to analyze the properties of certain foods, determining the total flavonoids as well as their antioxidant activity and fat concentration. We evaluated several foods purchased at the local market, with respect to its antioxidant activity, using two experimental models, the discoloration of DPPH˙ radical and ABTS-. Some foods such as pitanga showed antioxidant activity. The lipid content of fatty foods like aaí, cacao and cupuaú was determined. Other foods, including pitanga, aaí, cacao and cupuaú, were evaluated for flavonoid content and antioxidant activity using multivariate statistical analysis (PCA) as a statistical tool to evaluate the correlation between these two parameters. As samples with ED50 up to 500 μg/mL show promising antioxidant activity, several Brazilian fruit and vegetables could be consumed to this end, with a good correlation between flavonoid content and antioxidant activity in most samples. The daily dose of different types of food for antioxidant activity has been calculated based on these results.

Share and Cite:

Calado, J. , Albertão, P. , Oliveira, E. , Letra, M. , Frankland Sawaya, A. and Marcucci, M. (2015) Flavonoid Contents and Antioxidant Activity in Fruit, Vegetables and Other Types of Food. Agricultural Sciences, 6, 426-435. doi: 10.4236/as.2015.64042.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Dixit, S. and Ali, H. (2010) Antioxidant Potential Some Medicinal Plants of Central India. Journal of Cancer Therapy, 1, 87-90.
[2] Galvao, E.L., Da Silva, D.C.F., Moreira, A.V.B., et al. (2008) Avaliacao do potencial antioxidante e extracao subcrítica do óleo de linhaca. Food Science and Technology, 28, 551-557.
[3] Han, X., Shen, T. and Lou, H. (2007) Dietary Polyphenols and Their Biological Significance. International Journal Molecular Science, 8, 950-988.
[4] Segev, A., Badani, H., Kapulnik, K., Shomer, I., Oren-Shamir, M. and Galili, S. (2010) Determination of Polyphenols, Flavonoids and Antioxidant Capacity in Colored Chick-Pea (Cicer arietinum L.). Journal Food Science, 75, S115-S119.
[5] Davies, K.J. (2000) Oxidative Stress, Antioxidant Defenses, and Damage Removal, Repair, and Replacement Systems. IUBMB Life, 50, 279-289.
[6] Shahidi, F., Janitha, P.K. and Wanasundara, P.D. (1992) Phenolic Antioxidants. Critical Review of Food Science and Nutrition, 202, 307-324.
[7] Fremont, L., Gozzelino, M.T., Franchi, M.P. and Linard, A. (1998) Dietary Flavonoids Reduce Lipid Peroxidation in Rats Fed Polyunsaturated and Monounsaturated Fat Diets. Journal of Nutrition, 128, 1495-1502.
[8] Lobo, V., Patil, A., Phatak, A. and Chandra, N. (2010) Free Radicals, Antioxidants and Functional Foods: Impact on Human Health. Pharmacognosy Review, 4, 118-126.
[9] Scalbert, A., Manach, C. and Morand, C. (2005) Dietary Polyphenols and the Prevention of Diseases. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 45, 287-306.
[10] Xu, B.J., Yuan, S.H. and Chang, S.K.C. (2007) Comparative Analyses of Phenolic Composition, Antioxidant Capacity and Color of Cool Season Legumes and Other Selected Food Legumes. Journal of Food Science, 72, S167-S177.
[11] Geil, P.B. and Anderson, J.W. (1994) Nutrition and Health Implications of Dry Beans: A Review. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 13, 549-558.
[12] Heimler, D., Vignolini, P., Dini, M.G. and Romani, A. (2005) Rapid Tests to Assess the Antioxidant Activity of Phaseolus vulgaris L. Dry Beans. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 53, 3053-3056.
[13] Cardador-Martinez, A., Loacra-Pina, G. and Oomah, B.D. (2002) Antioxidant Activity in Common Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 50, 6975-6980.
[14] Azevedo, L., Gomes, J.C., Stringheta, P.C., Gontijo, A.M.M.C., Padovani, C.R., Ribeiro, L.R. and Salvadori, D.M.F. (2003) Black Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) as Protective Agent against DNA Damage in Mice. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 41, 1671-1676.
[15] Cardador-Martínez, A., Albores, A., Bah, M., Cal-derón-Salinas, V., Castano-Tostado, E., Guevara-González, R., Shimada-Miyasaka, A. and Loarca-Pina, G. (2006) Relationship among Antimutagenic Antioxidant and Enzymatic Activities of Methanolic Extract from Common Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, 61, 161-168.
[16] Mejía, E.G., Castano-Tostado, E. and Loarca-Pina, G. (1999) Antimutagenic Effects of Natural Phenolic Compounds in Beans. Mutation Research-Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis, 441, 1-9.
[17] Dong, M., He, X. and Liu, R.H. (2007) Phytochemicals of Black Bean Seed Coats: Isolation, Structure Elucidation and Their Antiproliferative and Antioxidative Activities. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 55, 6044-6051.
[18] Aparicio-Fernández, X., Reynoso-Camacho, R., Castano-Tostado, E., García-Gasca, T., González de Mejía, E., Guzmán-Maldonado, S., Elizondo, G., Yousef, G.G., Lila M.A. and Loarca-Pina, G. (2008) Antiradical Capacity and Induction of Apoptosis in HeLa Cells by a Phaseolus vulgaris Extract. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, 63, 35-40.
[19] Banskota, A.H., Tezuka, Y., Adnyana, I.K., Midorikawa, K., Matsushige, K., Message, D., Huertas, A.A.G. and Kadota, S. (2000) Cytotoxic, Hepatoprotective and Free Radical Scavenging Effects of Propolis from Brazil, Peru, the Netherlands and China. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 72, 239-246.
[20] Pellegrini, N., Proteggente, A., Pannala, A., Yang, M. and Rice-Evans, C. (1999) Antioxidant Activity Applying an Improved ABTS Radical Cation Decolorization Assay. Free Radicals in Biological Medicine, 26, 1231-1237.
[21] Bligh, E.G. and Dyer, W.J. (1959) A Rapid Method of Total Lipid Extraction and Purification. Canadian Journal of Biochemistry and Physiology, 37, 911-917.
[22] Menezes, E.M.S., Torres, A.L. and Srur, A.U.S. (2008) Valor nutricional da polpa de acaí (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) liofilizada. Acta Amazonica, 38, 311-316. (In Portuguese)
[23] Brend, Y., Galili, L., Badani, H., Hovav, R. and Galili, S. (2012) Total Phenolic Content and Antioxidant Activity of Red and Yellow Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) Seeds as Affected by Baking and Cooking Conditions. Food and Nutrition Sciences, 3, 1150-1155.
[24] Behling, E.B., Sendao, M.C., Francescato, H.D.C., Antunes, L.M.G. and Bianchi, M.L.P. (2004) Flavonóide quercetina: Aspectos gerais e acoes biológicas. Alimentos e Nutricao, 15, 285-292. (In Portuguese)
[25] Azevedo-Meleiro, C.H. and Rodriguez-Amaya, D.B. (2007) Qualitative and Quantitative Differences in Carotenoid Composition among Cucurbita moschata, Cucurbita maxima, and Cucurbita pepo. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 55, 4027-4033.
[26] Miean, K.H. and Mohamed, S. (2001) Flavonoid (Myricetin, Quercetin, Kaempferol, Luteolin, and Apigenin) Content of Edible Tropical Plants. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 49, 3106-3112.
[27] Arts, I.C.W., Hollman, P.C.H. and Kromhout, D. (1999) Chocolate as a Source of Tea Flavonoids. The Lancet, 354, 488.
[28] Luthria, D.L. (2008) Influence of Experimental Conditions on the Extraction of Phenolic Compounds from Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) Flakes Using a Pressurized Liquid Extractor. Food Chemistry, 107, 745-752.
[29] Piccaglia, R., Marotti, M., Chiavari, G. and Nandini, N. (1997) Effects of Harvesting Date and Climate on the Flavonoid and Carotenoid Contents of Marigold (Calendula officinalis L.). Flavour and Fragrance Journal, 12, 85-90.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.