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J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Aug 11;52(16):5195-200.

Antioxidant phenols in barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) flour: comparative spectrophotometric study among extraction methods of free and bound phenolic compounds.

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Dipartimento di Scienze degli Alimenti, Università di Bologna, Via Ravennate 1020, 47023 Cesena (FC), Italy.


Phenolic compounds are found in both free and bound forms in cereals. The majority is in the insoluble bound form, that is, bound to cell wall material, such as ferulic acid and its derivatives. The antioxidant properties of the phenolic compounds in grains are associated with the health benefits of grains and grain products. The extraction capacity of several solvent mixtures, for extracting free phenols from barley flours, and the possibility of employing a rapid automated solvent extraction method were studied. The extraction yield of each method was evaluated by correlating several spectrophotometric indices (absorption at 280, 320, and 370 nm and total phenolic compounds by the Folin-Ciocalteu method) with the antioxidant activities of the barley extracts (scavenging activity by the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl method). Interesting results were obtained when ethanol and acetone-based extraction mixtures were employed to extract free phenols. A comparison was made between alkaline and acid hydrolysis. The extraction yield of bound phenolic compounds increased when the digestion time for alkaline hydrolysis was prolonged.

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