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Keywords:

  • Antioxidants;
  • chlorophyll;
  • peroxidase activity;
  • pretreatment methods;
  • vegetables

Summary

The study evaluated the effects of six pretreatment methods before cooking on the peroxidase activity, chlorophyll and antioxidant profile of Amaranthus cruentus L. and Solanum nigrum L. The six pretreatments methods used were chopped only (raw sample) (coded M1); chopped and dried at 50 °C for 5 h (coded M2); chopped and squeezed in water (at room temperature) (coded M3); chopped and soaked in warm water (approximately 60 °C), then cooled and squeezed (coded M4); chopped and soaked in salt-treated water (approximately 20 g NaCl per litre of water) for 15 min, then squeezed (coded M5) and chopped and soaked in boiling water (100 °C), then cooled and squeezed (coded M6). The main effect of vegetable type and the main effect of pretreatment methods have significant effects (P leqslant R: less-than-or-eq, slant 0.05) on the parameters measured, while the interaction of vegetable type and pretreatment methods have no significant effect on the parameters measured. Statistical analyses (P leqslant R: less-than-or-eq, slant 0.05) showed that chlorophyll a and b occur in ratio 3:1 in the two vegetables, irrespective of the pretreatment imposed. Peroxidase activity test showed that A. cruentus, irrespective of the pretreatment imposed showed, no peroxidase activity, while S. nigrum showed high peroxidase activity for all the pretreatments except for M6. Results showed that there was a significantly (P leqslant R: less-than-or-eq, slant 0.05) higher content of carotenoids in A. cruentus when compared with S. nigrum, while the total phenolics, total flavonoids and total tannins contents were higher in S. nigrum when compared with A. cruentus, irrespective of the pretreatment method used. For the two vegetables, the percentage losses in total carotenoids, phenolics, flavonoids and total tannins at M6 when compared with M1 were 53.3–60.5%, 55.6–57.1%, 62.4–63.6% and 66.1–73.5%, respectively. There was a sharp drop in the carotenoids, phenolics, flavonoids and tannins contents of the two vegetables at M4 and M6, with both treatments having closely similar values for each parameter.