Abstract: Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench) is an alternative crop belonging to the Polygonaceae family. In comparison to antioxidant activity of frequently used cereals, buckwheat has been reported to possess higher antioxidant activity (AOA), mainly due to high rutin content. The objective of this work was to determine the main antioxidant compounds and AOA of buckwheat grain fractions (whole grain, hull, and groat). Buckwheat grain fractions were extracted with ethanol/water (80/20, v/v), followed by determination of total phenolic and flavonoid content. Quantification of phenolic compounds and tocopherols was performed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The AOA was estimated by 2 direct electron spin resonance (ESR) and 4 indirect (spectrophotometric) tests. Significantly higher contents of total phenolics and total flavonoids were found in buckwheat hull than in whole grain and groat. Protocatechuic, syringic, and sinapic acid, rutin, and quercetin were found in all tested fractions, whereas vanilic acid was found in whole grain and hull. The content of total tocopherols in investigated samples ranged from 23.3 mmol/g for hull to 61.8 mmol/g for groat. Hull was superior in scavenging activity on 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH•), hydroxyl (•OH), and superoxide anion (O2•-) radicals, reducing activity, AOA by β-carotene bleaching method, and chelating activity on Fe2+ as evidenced by its lower IC50 value. Obtained results can broaden the utilization of buckwheat, especially a share of hull in whole grain flour production.
Practical Application: Obtained results suggest possibility to supplement the whole grain buckwheat flour with hull, which leads toward better usage of by-products in buckwheat production, and enhancement of antioxidant potential of the final product.