Skip to main content
Log in

Determination of the Antioxidant Capacity of Culinary Herbs Subjected to Various Cooking and Storage Processes Using the ABTS*+ Radical Cation Assay

  • Original Paper
  • Published:
Plant Foods for Human Nutrition Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Culinary herbs have the potential to be a significant source of antioxidants in the diet. However, many culinary herbs are cooked or undergo some other form of processing before they are consumed as part of a meal and such factors may affect their significance as a source of dietary antioxidants. Thus, the impact of cooking (simmering, microwaving, stewing, stir frying and grilling) and storage (vinegar maceration, cold maceration and freezing) on the antioxidant capacity of common culinary herbs was investigated. Extracts of cinnamon, cloves, fennel, ginger, lavender, parsley, rose, rosemary, sage and thyme were prepared pre and post cooking or storage and their antioxidant capacities determined using the Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity assay (TEAC). Simmering, soup making and stewing significantly increased antioxidant capacity, whilst grilling and stir frying decreased it. Both freezing herbs at −20 °C and cold maceration had preservative effects on antioxidant capacity. Herbs in cold vinegar macerations for 1 week showed a decrease in antioxidant capacity compared to the control extracts. These results indicate that the potential of culinary herbs to be significant contributors to dietary antioxidant intake is significantly affected by both cooking and storage.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

Abbreviations

ABTS:

2,2′-azinobis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) diammonium salt

DPPH:

diphenylpicryl-hydrazyl

FRAP:

ferric reducing/antioxidant power

TEAC:

Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity

References

  1. Southgate DAT (2000) Vegetables, fruits, fungi and their products. In: Garrow JS, James WPT, Ralph A (eds) Human Nutrition and Dietetics, 10th edn. Edinburgh/London/New York/Philadelphia/St Louis/Sydney/Toronto: Churchill Livingstone UK, pp. 393–394.

  2. Crowell PL (1999) Prevention therapy of cancer by dietary monoterpenes. J Nutr 129:775s–778s

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Mantle D, Edded F, Pickening AT (2000) Comparison of relative antioxidant activities of British medicinal plant species in vitro. J of Ethnopharmacol 72:47–51

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Zheng W, Wang SY (2001) Antioxidant activity and phenolic compounds in selected herbs. J Agric Food Chem 49:5165–5170

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Dragland S, Senoo H, Wake K, Holte K, Bolomhoff R (2003) Several culinary and medicinal herbs are important sources of dietary antioxidants. J Nutr 133:1286–1290

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Khan MTH, Ather A, Thompson KD, Gambari R (2005) Extracts and molecules from medicinal plants against herpes simplex viruses. Antiviral Res 67:107–119

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Kris-Etherton P, Hecker K, Bonanome A, Coval S, Binkoski A, Hilpert K, Griel A, Etherton T (2002) Bioactive compounds in foods: their role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Am J Med 113:71s–88s

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Craig WJ (1999) Health-promoting properties of common herbs. Am J Clin Nutr 70:491S–499S

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Tapsell LC, Hemphill I, Cobiac L, Sullivan DR, Fenech M, Patch CS, Roodenrys S, Keogh JB, Clifton PM, Williams PG, Fazio VA, Inge KA (2006) Health benefits of herbs and spices: the past, the present, the future. Med J Aust 185(4 Suppl):S1–S24

    Google Scholar 

  10. Halvorsen BL, Holte K, Myhrstad M, Barikmo I, Hvattum E, Remberg SF, Wold AB, Haffner K, Baugerod H, Anderson L, Moskaug J, Jacobs DR, Blomhoff JR (2002) A systematic screening of total antioxidants in dietary plants. J Nutr 132:461–471

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Halvorensen BL, Carlsen MH, Phillipis KM, Bøhn SK, Jacobs DR, Blomhoff JR (2006) Content of redox-active compounds (i.e., antioxidants) in foods consumed in the United States. Am J Clin Nutr 84:95–135

    Google Scholar 

  12. Ching S, Cheung C-M, Szeto Y-T, Benzie IFF (2007) Antioxidant protection of edible oils. Plant Food Hum Nutr 62:39–42

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Prior R, Wu X, Schaich K (2005) Standardized methods for the determination of antioxidants capacity and phenolics in foods and dietary supplements. J Agric Food Chem 53:4290–4302

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Re R, Pellegrini N, Proteggent A, Pannala A, Yang M, Rice-Evans C (1999) Antioxidant capacity applying an improved ABTS radical cation decolorization assay. Free Radic Biol Med 2:6:1231–1237

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. Lemanska K, Szymusiak H, Tyrakowska B, Zielinski R, Soffers A, Rietijiens I (2001) The influence of pH on antioxidant properties and the mechanisms of antioxidants action of hydroxyflavones. Free Radic Biol Med 3:869–881

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Crawley H (1988) Food portion size, 2nd edn. London: HMSO. The Stationary Office

  17. Food Standards Agency (2002) McCance and Widdowson’s The Composition of Foods, 6th edn. Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  18. Scalzo J, Politi A, Pellegrini N, Mezzetti B, Battino M (2005) Plant genotypes affects total antioxidant capacity and phenolic contents in fruit. Nutrition 21:207–213

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  19. Pellegrini N, Serafini M, Colombi B, Del Rio D, Salvatore S, Bianchi M, Brighenti F (2003) Total antioxidant capacity of plant foods, beverages and oils consumed in Italy by three different in vitro assays. J Nutr 133:2812–2819

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  20. Wren RC, Williamson E (2003) Potter’s Herbal Cyclopaedia, Rev Ed edn. The CW Daniel Company Ltd, London

    Google Scholar 

  21. Hinneburg I, Dorman DHJ, Hiltunen R (2006) Antioxidant activities of extracts from selected culinary herbs and spices. Food Chem 97:122–129

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  22. Benzie IFF, Strain JJ (1999) Ferric reducing antioxidant power assay: direct measure of total antioxidant activity of biological fluids and modified version for simultaneous measurement of total antioxidant power and ascorbic acid concentration. Methods Enzymol 299:15–27

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  23. Choi Y, Lee SM, Chun J, Lee HB, Lee J (2006) Influence of heat treatment on the antioxidant activities and polyphenolic compounds of Shiitake (Lentinus edodes) mushroom. Food Chem 99:381–387

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  24. Kim S, Jeong S, Park W, Nam KC, Ahn DU, Lee S (2006) Effect of heating conditions of grape seeds on the antioxidant activity of grape seed extracts. Food Chem 97:472–479

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  25. Tubaro F, Micossi E, Ursini E (1996) The antioxidant capacity of complex mixtures by kinetic analysis of crocin bleaching inhibition. J Am Oil Chem Soc 73:173–179

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  26. Hunter KJ, Fletcher JM (2002) The antioxidant capacity and composition of fresh, frozen, jarred and canned vegetables. Innov Food Sci Emerg 3:399–406

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  27. Manach C, Scalbert A, Morand C, Remesy C, Jimenez L (2003) Polyphenols: food sources and bioavailability. Am J Clin Nutr 79:727–747

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Elizabeth I. Opara.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Chohan, M., Forster-Wilkins, G. & Opara, E.I. Determination of the Antioxidant Capacity of Culinary Herbs Subjected to Various Cooking and Storage Processes Using the ABTS*+ Radical Cation Assay. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 63, 47–52 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11130-007-0068-2

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11130-007-0068-2

Keywords

Navigation