• caffeoylquinic acid derivatives;
  • liquid chromatography;
  • mass spectrometry;
  • sweet potatoes;
  • total phenolics

ABSTRACT:  Phenolic acids in commercially important sweet potato cultivars grown in the United States were analyzed using reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, 4,5-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid, 3,5-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid, and 3,4-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid were well separated with an isocratic elution in less than 25 min compared to about 120 min for analyzing and re-equilibrating the column with a gradient method. The isocratic elution order of these caffeoylquinic acid derivatives was confirmed by LC-MS/MS. Chlorogenic acid was the highest in root tissues, while 3,5-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid and/or 4,5-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid were predominant in the leaves. Steam cooking resulted in statistically nonsignificant increases in the concentration of total phenolics and all the individual phenolic acids identified. Sweetpotato leaves had the highest phenolic acid content followed by the peel, whole root, and flesh tissues. However, there was no significant difference in the total phenolic content and antioxidant activity between purees made from the whole and peeled sweet potatoes.