Evaluation of the polyphenolic contents and antioxidant properties of aqueous extracts of garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper and their mixture
Keywords:antioxidant activity, aqueous extract, mixture of spices, polyphenolics, synergistic effect.
Garlic (Allium sativum), Ginger (Zingiber officinale), and Cayenne Pepper (Capsicum fructences) are common culinary spices that are used singly or combined in the diet of many populations of the world and there is a long-held belief of their health-enhancing properties. This study investigated the aqueous extracts each of garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper and a combination of the three for polyphenolic and antioxidant properties that might justify such claims. Aqueous extracts of garlic, ginger, pepper and a combination of the three was evaluated for polyphenolic and antioxidant activities using DPPH, ABTS, nitric oxide radical scavenging activities and reducing power assay. Each of the spice extracts showed high content of phenolics, flavonoids, flavonols and proanthocyanidin, with the pepper extract exhibiting the highest concentration of each polyphenol investigated. The antioxidant activities of the spices and their mixture was concentration dependent, though positively comparable with the standards used. Among the extracts, the mixture exhibited the highest antioxidant activity compared to the individual spices and standards probably due to a synergistic effect of combining the spices. The present study confirmed that the aqueous extracts of garlic, ginger and pepper exhibited significant polyphenolic content and antioxidant potentials. Also, that a mixture of the three spices potentially exhibits more powerful synergistic antioxidant activity than the individual spices, making a strong case for their combined use.
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