European Food Research and Technology

, Volume 233, Issue 1, pp 11–18 | Cite as

Antioxidant activity of rosemary and thyme by-products and synergism with added antioxidant in a liposome system

  • Gema NietoEmail author
  • Kevin Huvaere
  • Leif H. Skibsted
Original Paper


This study describes the use of liposomes as biological membrane models to evaluate the potential of natural antioxidants as inhibitors of lipid peroxidation. Antioxidative effects of by-products from manufacturing of essential oils, i.e., distilled rosemary leaf residues (DRL), distilled thyme leaf residues (DTL), and the combined antioxidative effects of DRL or DTL with α-tocopherol (TOH), ascorbic acid (AA), and quercetin (QC) on peroxidation of l-α-phosphatidylcholine liposomes as initiated by hydrophilic azo-initiators, were investigated. In addition, experiments were repeated with whole thyme leaves (TL) to compare the characteristics of by-products (leaf residues from distillation) with the initial industrial product (leaf for distillation). Extracts from DRL, DTL, and TL all had an obvious antioxidative effect as evidenced by a lag phase for the formation of phosphatidylcholine-derived conjugated dienes. DRL and DTL had similar antioxidative activity, while whole thyme leaves showed superior antioxidant activity compared with distilled thyme residues. Combination of TOH or QC with DRL, DTL, and TL, respectively, showed synergism in prolonging of the lag phase.


Thymus zygis Rosmarinus officinalis Liposomes Lipid oxidation Antioxidants By-products 



The authors are grateful to the University of Murcia and Fundación Séneca (Agencia de Ciencia y Tecnología de la Region de Murcia) for the postdoctoral fellowship of Gema Nieto (12494/PD/09).


  1. 1.
    Pikul J, Kummerow FA (1990) Relative role of individual phospholipids on thiobarbituric acid reactive substances formation in chicken meat, skin and swine aorta. J Food Sci 55:1243–1254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Lesagemeessen L, Navarro D, Maunier S, Sigoillot JC, Lorquin J, Delattre M, Simon JL, Asther M, Labat M (2001) Simple phenolic content in olive oil residues as a function of extraction systems. Food Chem 75:501–507CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Parejo I, Viladomat F, Bastida J, Rosas-Romero A, Flerlage N, Burillo J, Codina C (2002) Comparison between the radical scavenging activity and antioxidant activity of six distilled and nondistilled mediterranean herbs and aromatic plants. J Agric Food Chem 50:6882–6890CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Nieto G, Díaz P, Bañón S, Garrido MD (2010) Dietary administration of ewe diets with a distillate from Rosemary leaves (Rosmarinus officinalis L.): influence on lamb meat quality. Meat Sci 84:23–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Nieto G, Díaz P, Bañon S, Garrido MD (2010) Effect on lamb meat quality of including thyme (Thymus zygis ssp. gracilis) leaves in ewes’ diet. Meat Sci 85:82–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Roberts WG, Gordon MH (2003) Determination of the total antioxidant activity of fruits and vegetables by a liposome assay. J Agric Food Chem 51(5):1486–1493CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Graversen HB, Becker EM, Skibsted LH, Andersen ML (2008) Antioxidant synergism between fruit juice and α-tocopherol. A comparison between high phenolics black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) and high ascorbic blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum). Eur Food Res Technol 226(4):737–743CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Rødtjer A, Skibsted LH, Andersen ML (2006) Antioxidative and prooxidative effects of extracts made from cherry liqueur pomace. Food Chem 99:6–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Moreno S, Scheyer T, Romano CS, Vojnov AA (2006) Antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of rosemary extracts linked to their polyphenol composition. Free Radic Res 40(2):223–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Proestos C, Chorianopoulos N, Nychas GJE, Komaitis M (2005) RP-HPLC analysis of the phenolic compounds of plant extracts. Investigation of their antioxidant capacity and antimicrobial activity. J Agric Food Chem 53:1190–1195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Zheng W, Wang SY (2001) Antioxidant activity and phenolic compounds in selected herbs. J Agric Food Chem 49:5165–5170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Basaga H, Tekkaya C, Acikel F (1997) Antioxidative and free radical scavenging properties of rosemary extract. Food Sci Technol 30:105–108Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Del Baño MJ (2005) Characterization, distribution, biosynthesis and properties of the main antioxidants polyphenolic compounds present in Rosmarinus officinalis. Doctoral thesis, University of Murcia, SpainGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Richheimer SL, Bernart MW, King GA, Kent MC, Bailey DT (1996) Antioxidant activity of lipid-soluble phenolic diterpenes from rosemary. J Am Oil Chem Soc 73:507–514CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Zeng HH, Tu PF, Zhou K, Wang H, Wang BH, Lu JF (2001) Antioxidant properties of phenolic diterpenes from Rosmarinus officinalis. Acta Pharm Sin 22(12):1094–1098Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Jordan MJ, Martínez RM, Martínez C, Moñino I, Sotomayor JA (2009) Polyphenolic extract and essential oil quality of Thymus zygis ssp. gracilis shrubs cultivated under different watering levels. Ind Crops Prod 29:145–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Nguyen DV, Takacsova M, Jakubic T, Dang MN (2000) Antioxidative effect of thyme in rapeseed oil. Biologia 55:277–281Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Tepe B, Daferera D, Sökmen M, Polissiou M, Sökmen A (2004) In vitro antimicrobial activities of the essential oils and various extracts of Thymus zygiseigii M. J Agric Food Chem 52:1132–1137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Cervato G, Carabelli M, Gervasio S, Cittera A, Cazzola R, Cestaro B (2000) Antioxidant properties of oregano (Origanum vulgare) leaf extracts. J Food Biochem 24:453–465CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Fang X, Wada S (1993) Enhancing the antioxidant effect of α-tocopherol with rosemary in inhibiting catalyzed oxidation caused by Fe2+ and hemoprotein. Food Res Int 26:405–411CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Trojakova L, Reblova Z, Pokorny J (2000) Degradation of tocopherols in rapeseed oil with rosemary extract under different conditions. Czech J Food Sci 18:175–176Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Wong JW, Hashimoto K, Shibamoto T (1995) Antioxidant activities of rosemary and sage extracts and vitamin E in a model system. J Agric Food Chem 43:2707–2712CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Altunkaya A, Miquel Becker E, Gökmen V, Skibsted LH (2009) Antioxidant activity of lettuce extract (Lactuca sativa) and synergism with added phenolics antioxidants. Food Chem 115(1):163–168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Beddows CG, Jagait C, Kelly MJ (2001) Effect of ascorbyl palmitate on the preservation of alpha-tocopherol in sunflower oil, alone and with herbs and spices. Food Chem 73:255–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Mazziotti A, Mazzotti F, Pantusa M, Sportelli L, Sindona G (2006) Pro-oxidant activity of oleuropein determined in vitro by electron spin resonance spin-trapping methodology. J Agric Food Chem 54:7444–7449CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Cao G, Sofic E, Prior RL (1997) Antioxidant and prooxidant behavior of flavonoids: structure–activity relationships. Free Rad Biol Med 22:749–760CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Food Technology and Human Nutrition, Veterinary FacultyUniversity of MurciaMurciaSpain
  2. 2.Food Chemistry, Department of Food Science, Faculty of Life SciencesUniversity of CopenhagenFrederiksberg CDenmark

Personalised recommendations