BACKGROUND: The replacement of some synthetic food antioxidants by safe natural antioxidants has fostered research on the screening of raw materials to find new vegetable sources of antioxidants. In this study the antioxidant activity of eight wild-growing Colombian plants was assessed by four complementary assays.
RESULTS: An evaluation of the antioxidant activity of ten ethanolic extracts from Baccharis chilco, Cinnamomum triplinerve, Ilex laurina, Lachemilla orbiculata, Lepechinia conferta, Quercus humboldtii, Rubus urticifolius and Tephrosia cinerea was carried out. Furthermore, the total phenolic content was determined by the Folin–Ciocalteu method, and the relationship between phenolic content and activity was also statistically investigated. Cinnamomum triplinerve, L. conferta and I. laurina were found to have the highest phenolic contents. Baccharis chilco, C. triplinerve, I. laurina, L. conferta, Q. humboldtii and R. urticifolius showed higher radical-scavenging activity (DPPH and superoxide assays) than commercial rosemary oleoresin (reference). Lachemilla orbiculata and R. urticifolius showed higher antioxidant activity (β-carotene-bleaching test) than the reference. The protection factor of all studied plant extracts was below that of the reference according to the Rancimat test.
CONCLUSION: On the basis of the results obtained, C. triplinerve, Q. humboldtii and R. urticifolius seem to be the most promising species for further investigation in order to identify the compounds responsible for their activity. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry