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J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Feb 27;50(5):1168-71.

Evaluation of extracts and isolated fraction from Capparis spinosa L. buds as an antioxidant source.

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Pharmaco-Biological Department, School of Pharmacy, University of Messina, SS. Annunziata, 98168 Messina, Italy.


The antioxidant activity of extracts from Capparis spinosa L. buds was evaluated using different in vitro tests: ascorbate/Fe(2+)-mediated lipid peroxidation of microsomes from rat liver; bleaching of 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl radical; and autoxidation of Fe(2+) ion in the presence of bathophenanthroline disulfonate. The methanolic extract showed strong activities in all of these in vitro tests. The amount of total phenols was determined in the methanolic extract. In addition, the level of rutin was calculated as 0.39% (w/w) by HPLC analysis. Our findings indicate the following: (a) the antioxidant efficiency of the methanolic extract may be attributed to its phenolic content; and (b) the antioxidant activity of the methanolic extract was maintained after removal of glucosinolates, confirming that these compounds do not interfere with the antioxidant properties of the extract. The results obtained from this study exalt the nutritional value of the flowering buds (capers) which are widely used as a source of flavor.

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