, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 177-181

First online:

Vitamin E isomers in grain amaranths (Amaranthus spp.)

  • James W. LehmannAffiliated withInstitute for the Development of Amaranth Products
  • , Daniel H. PutnamAffiliated withDepartment of Agronomy, University of Minnesota
  • , Asaf A. QureshiAffiliated withAdvanced Medical Research, Inc.

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Vitamin E isomers are important antioxidants, but their variation is poorly documented in pseduocereal grains such as amaranths. Using normal-phase, high-performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection, seeds of thirteen amaranth (Amaranthus cruentus L.,A. hypochondriacus L.) accessions were surveyed for the composition of tocols. The most common tocols found were α-tocopherol (2.97 to 15.65 mg/kg seed) and β-tocotrienol (5.92 to 11.47 mg/kg seed) and γ-tocotrienol (0.95 to 8.69 mg/kg seed), while someA. cruentus accessions contained δ-tocotrienol (0.01 to 0.42 mg/kg seed). This is the first report of tocotrienols in amaranths.Amaranthus cruentus grain-types of Mesoamerican origin had significantly (P≤0.01) greater levels of four tocols than didA. cruentus African vegetable-types. Unlike many cereal grains, amaranths have significant amounts of both β- and γ-tocotrienols; however, β-tocopherol was not detected in any of the amaranths. Using multiple linear regressions, α-tocopherol variation of both species and types was consistently explained by variation in tocols other than α-tocopherol. On the whole, fresh amaranth samples of both species tended to have higher levels of tocotrienols than samples stored for two years. Storage effects on amaranth tocol composition are suspected.