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J Agric Food Chem. 2001 Jul;49(7):3216-22.

Domestic processing of onion bulbs (Allium cepa) and asparagus spears (Asparagus officinalis): effect on flavonol content and antioxidant status.

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Department of Food Quality Management, Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania, P.O. Box 85, 73100, Chania, Greece.


Two commonly consumed plant foods, onion bulbs and asparagus spears, were subjected to typical domestic processing, including chopping, maceration, and boiling. The impact of these processes on flavonol content was assessed. Further, the consequences of these processes on the antioxidant capacity of the tissues were evaluated with the beta-carotene bleaching method. Chopping significantly affected rutin content in asparagus, yielding an 18.5% decrease in 60 min; but in onions, quercetin 3,4'-diglucoside (Q(DG)) and quercetin 4'-glucoside (Q(MG)) were virtually unaffected by chopping. Boiling for 60 min had more severe effects, as it caused overall flavonol losses of 20.6 and 43.9% in onions and asparagus, respectively. Chopping of tissues did not considerably influence the antioxidant capacity, but boiling did provoke notable changes.

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