Young herbaceous legumes – a natural reserve of bioactive compounds and antioxidants for healthy food and supplements

  • Bronislava Butkutė Institute of Agriculture, Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry http://orcid.org/0000-0002-4795-5723
  • Raimondas Benetis Lithuanian University of Health Sciences
  • Audrius Padarauskas Vilnius University
  • Jurgita Cesevičienė Institute of Agriculture, Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry
  • Audronė Dagilytė Lithuanian University of Health Sciences
  • Lukas Taujenis Vilnius University
  • Hiliaras Rodovičius Lithuanian University of Health Sciences
  • Nijolė Lemežienė Institute of Agriculture, Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry
Keywords: perennial Fabaceae, phenolic compounds, saponins, antioxidant properties, drying methods

Abstract

Young plants of clover (Trifolium pratense L. and T. medium L.), medick (Medicago sativa L. and M. lupulina L.), sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia Scop.) and milkvetch (Astragalus glycyphyllos L. and A. cicer L.), were investigated for total contents of phenolics, flavonoids, isoflavones, condensed tannins and triterpene saponins as well as their extracts for antiradical and ferrous ion chelating activity. The impact of two sample drying methods on the aforementioned characters was compared. The phytochemical concentrations were higher in the freeze-dried legumes; however, antioxidant activities were generally higher of oven-dried samples. Both the composition of health promoting phytochemicals and antioxidant properties were strongly species-dependent. Among the species tested, Trifolium spp. were most abundant in isoflavones, Medicago spp. – in saponins and O. viciifolia – in tannins. Plants of T. medium and O. viciifolia were rich in TPC. The extracts of T. pratense, O. viciifolia and A. cicer possessed significant antiradical activity; the extracts from Astragalus spp. proved to be promising chelators of ferrous ion. We concluded that young perennial legumes could be considered as potential candidates for the development of nutraceuticals and functional food ingredients to accommodate the need for a particular bioactive component or property.

Author Biographies

Bronislava Butkutė, Institute of Agriculture, Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry
Chemical Research Laboratory
Raimondas Benetis, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences
Department of Drug Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy
Audrius Padarauskas, Vilnius University
Department of Analytical and Environmental Chemistry
Jurgita Cesevičienė, Institute of Agriculture, Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry
Chemical Research Laboratory
Audronė Dagilytė, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences
Department of Drug Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy 
Lukas Taujenis, Vilnius University

Department of Analytical and Environmental Chemistry

Hiliaras Rodovičius, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences
Department of Drug Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy
Nijolė Lemežienė, Institute of Agriculture, Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry
Department of Grass Breeding
Published
2017-12-05