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J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Jul 31;50(16):4696-704.

Anti- and pro-oxidant water soluble activity of Cichorium genus vegetables and effect of thermal treatment.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Pavia, via Taramelli 12, 27100 Pavia, Italy.


Both the pro- and antiradical water soluble activity, toward DPPH(*), ROO(*), OH(*) radicals found in seven diet vegetables belonging to the Cichorium genus, and the effects of boiling, freezing, and freeze-drying on such activities were investigated. The vegetables were three red cultivars of Cichorium intybus var. silvestre from three different areas of production, that is, chicory from Chioggia, Treviso, and Verona, C. intybus var. foliosum (Belgian chicory), C. endivia var. latifolium (escarole), C. endiviavar. crispum ("crispa"), and a hybrid vegetable obtained by the cross between C. intybus var. silvestre and C. endivia var. latifolium (chicory from Castelfranco). The juices obtained by simple centrifugation of vegetables operating at 2 or 25 degrees C and submitted to the thermal technological treatments were assessed for antiradical activity using the DPPH(*) assay, the linoleic acid-beta-carotene system, and the deoxyribose assay. In all three assays used, each vegetable juice was shown to possess antiradical activity; there was a significant level in the C. endivia and the Belgian chicories and higher levels in the red C. intybus vegetables and the hybrid vegetable. All juice behaviors in the linoleic acid-beta-carotene system indicate that they also contain a thermally unstable component, which in a cold medium promptly promoted and accelerated linoleic acid peroxidation, therefore masking the presence of any thermally stable antiperoxyl radical components. The presence of these components, which efficiently protect linoleic acid from peroxidation, can be singled out only after inactivation by heating, or separation by dialysis, of the pro-oxidant components. Dialysis fractions showed that the pro-oxidant component has MW > 50000 Da and that the juices contain a number of antioxidant components which contribute to their antiradical activity.

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