, Volume 67, Issue 4, pp 442-449
Date: 16 Nov 2012

Antioxidant Capacity and Antimutagenic Activity of Anthocyanin and Carotenoid Extracts from Nixtamalized Pigmented Creole Maize Races (Zea mays L.)

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Nixtamalization process is the first step to obtain maize based products, like tortillas; however, in both the traditional and commercial processes, white grain is generally preferred. Creole maize races, mainly pigmented varieties, have increasingly attention since these are rich in anthocyanins and carotenoids. The aim of this investigation was to evaluate the antioxidant and antimutagenic activity of rich anthocyanins and carotenoids extracts from creole maize races before (grain) and after (masa and tortilla) the nixtamalization process. Most anthocyanins and carotenoids were lost during nixtamalization. Before nixtamalization, blue and red genotypes contained either higher antioxidant capacity and anthocyanin contents (963 ± 10.0 and 212.36 ± 0.36 mg of cyanidin-3-glucoside eq/100 g, respectively) than the white and yellow genotypes. However, the highest carotenoid levels were displayed by red grains (1.01 ± 0.07 to 1.14 ± 0.08 μg of β-carotene eq/g extract). Anthocyanins losses were observed when the blue grains were processed into masa (83 %) and tortillas (64 %). Anthocyanins content correlated with antiradical activity (r = 0.57) and with 2-aminoanthracene -induced mutagenicity inhibition on TA98 and TA100 (r = −0.62 and r = −0.44, respectively). For white grains, nixtamalization also reduced carotenoids (53 to 56 %), but not antioxidant activity and 2-Aa-induced mutagenicity. Throughout the nixtamalization process steps, all the extracts showed antimutagenic activity against 2-aminoanthracene—induced mutagenicity (23 to 90 %), displaying higher potential to inhibit base changes mutations than frameshift mutations in the genome of the tasted microorganism (TA100 and TA98, respectively). The results suggest that even though there were pigment losses, creole maize pigments show antioxidant and antimutagenic activities after nixtamalization process.