Abstract: The proximate composition of seagrape (Caulerpa lentillifera) from culture ponds in Penghu, Taiwan was analyzed. The phenolic content and the antioxidant activities including the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazil (DPPH) radical scavenging activity, ferric ion-reducing activity, hydrogen peroxide scavenging activity, and ferrous ion chelating (FIC) activity of the ethanolic extracts of dry seagrape samples using 2 drying methods of freeze drying and thermal drying were compared with the ethanolic extract of Oolong tea as a reference. The contents (dry weight basis) of carbohydrate, crude protein, crude lipid, crude fiber, and ash of seagrape obtained from culture ponds in Taiwan were 64.00%, 9.26%, 1.57%, 2.97%, and 22.20%, respectively. The total phenolic content (1.30 mg gallic acid equivalent [GAE]/g dry weight) of the ethanolic extract of thermally dried seagrape was significantly lower (P < 0.05) than that (2.04 mg GAE/g dry weight) of freeze-dried seagrape, and both were significantly lower than that (13.58 mg GAE/g dry weight) of Oolong tea. At the same phenolic content, the antioxidant activities of freeze-dried seagrape were significantly higher (P < 0.05) than those of thermally dried seagrape. Compared with Oolong tea, seagrape, irrespective of drying method used, generally had strong hydrogen peroxide scavenging activity; but it was weak in DPPH radical scavenging activity, ferric ion-reducing activity, and FIC activity. The antioxidant activity of seagrape and Oolong tea was significantly influenced by their phenolic contents.
Practical Application: The proximate composition, total phenolic content, and antioxidant activity of seagrape (Caulerpa lentillifera) in Taiwan were determined in this research to indicate nutritionally of this edible seaweed to human health, and compared these results to previous studies.