Antioxidant properties and total phenolic, flavonoid, ascorbic acid, β-carotene and lycopene contents of ethanol and water extracts from the edible mushroom Russula virescens (RV) were examined in this study. Various experimental models including 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH), 2,2′-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid)diammonium salt (ABTS), nitrite, hydroxyl and superoxide radical scavenging activity, inhibition of linoleic acid oxidation, DNA protection and catalase activity were used to characterize the antioxidant activity of the extracts. The IC50 values for DPPH and ABTS radical scavenging activities were 0.22 and 0.44 mg/mL, respectively, for water extract and 1.90 and 0.65 mg/mL, respectively, for ethanol extract. The levels of phenolic compounds were 8.74 and 2.21 mg gallic acid/100 g dry mass, and flavonoid compounds were 2.83 and 1.02 mg catechin/100 g dry mass for the water and ethanol extracts, respectively. In addition, high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analyses of RV extract revealed the presence of different phenolic compounds. R. virescens can therefore be considered to be a potential source of natural antioxidants.
Mushrooms accumulate a variety of secondary metabolites, including phenolic compounds, polyketides, terpenes and steroids. Also, flavoglaucin, a mushroom phenolic compound, has been found to be an excellent antioxidant and non-mutagenic synergist. In this study, the antioxidative activities of an edible mushroom were investigated in relationship to their total phenolic and flavonoid contents.