Plant Foods for Human Nutrition

, Volume 71, Issue 2, pp 197–203 | Cite as

Phytochemical Composition and Antitumor Activities of New Salad Greens: Rucola (Diplotaxis tenuifolia) and Corn Salad (Valerianella locusta)

  • R. P. Ramos-Bueno
  • M. A. Rincón-Cervera
  • M. J. González-Fernández
  • J. L. Guil-GuerreroEmail author
Original Paper


D. tenuifolia and V. locusta, two greens, were analyzed for active compounds and antitumor actions on colorectal cancer cells. Phenolics were determined by UHPLC-Orbitrap-MS; carotenoids and glucosinolates by HPLC-MS; and sterols and fatty acids by gas–liquid chromatography (GLC). For antitumor effects, the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) tests were run on HT-29 colorectal cancer cells, and in CCD-18 untransformed enterocyte cells. Six main carotenoids were identified in both vegetables, while total carotenoids accounted for 3520 and 2970 μg · g−1 dry weight in D. tenuifolia and V. locusta, respectively. Six phenolics were detected in D. tenuifolia (68,600 μg · g−1 dry weight) and five in V. locusta (139,000 μg · g−1 dry weight). Three glucosinolates (GSL) were found in D. tenuifolia (1960 μg · g−1 dry wt. total). Low-polarity extracts from V. locusta and D. tenuifolia showed IC50 ~ 150 and ~200 μg · mL−1 on HT-29 cells, while both plants lacked actions on CCD-18 cells. V. locusta inhibited HT-29 cancer cells viability more efficiently than D. tenuiofolia, but induced less cytotoxicity. This work highlights the importance of functional foods for colorectal cancer prevention.


Bioactive compounds Cytotoxicity Diplotaxis tenuifolia HT-29 colorectal cancer cells Valerianela locusta 



4-methylsulphinylbutyl (glucoraphanin)


All-ion fragment


α-linolenic acid


Atmospheric pressure chemical ionization


Tris (2-carboxyethyl) phosphine hydrochloride bis-(trimethylsilyl) trifluoroacetamide


Essential FA


Heated electrospray interface


Fatty acid


Fetal bovine serum


Flame ionization detector




Linoleic acid


Lactate dehydrogenase


Methyl tert-butyl ether


3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide


Polyunsaturated fatty acid


Compliance with Ethical Standards


This project was not directly supported by any research funds.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. P. Ramos-Bueno
    • 1
  • M. A. Rincón-Cervera
    • 2
  • M. J. González-Fernández
    • 1
  • J. L. Guil-Guerrero
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Food Technology DivisionUniversity of AlmeríaAlmeríaSpain
  2. 2.Institute of Nutrition and Food TechnologyUniversity of ChileSantiagoChile

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