Antioxidant and radical-scavenging activities of buckwheat seed components


The search for endogenous components in food ingredients exhibiting antioxidant activity has been intensified in order to eliminate synthetic antioxidants. Tocopherols are widely used as natural antioxidants, although their protective ability is not always sufficient. Buckwheat seed components were evaluated for antioxidant and free radical-scavenging activities using solvents of different polarities to isolate components from hulls and groats. Components extracted from buckwheat hulls were pro-oxidant in canola oil. Antioxidant activity of extracts from buckwheat groats increased when more polar solvents were used for extraction. The highest activity was observed for the methanolic extract. Radical-scavenging activity of buckwheat extracts was analyzed with DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl). This activity increased when the more polar solvents were used for extraction, with the highest activity observed for the methanolic extract. It was also observed that the radical scavenging effectiveness of extracts was concentration dependent. Analysis revealed the presence of tocopherols in the hexane extract, while methanolic extracts were rich in phenolic acids and flavonoids.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. 1.

    Pomeranz, Y., Buckwheat: Structure, Composition, and Utilization, Crit. Rev. Food Sci. Nut. 19:213–231 (1983).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Shahidi, F., P.K. Janitha, and P.D. Wanasandura, Phenolic Antioxidants, Crit. Rev. Food Sci. Nutr. 32:67–103 (1992).

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Labuza, T.D., Kinetics of Lipid Oxidation in Foods, Crit. Rev. Food Technol. 7:355–395 (1971).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Madhavi, D.L., and D.K. Salunkhe, Toxicological Aspects of Food Antioxidants, in Food Antioxidants, edited by D.L. Madhavi, S.S. Deshpande, and D.K. Salunkhe, Marcel Dekker, New York, 1996, pp. 267–359.

    Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Tsuda, T., T. Osawa, T. Nakayama, S. Kawakishi, and K. Ohshima, Antioxidant Activity of Pea Bean (Phasolus vulgaris) Extract, J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc. 70:909–913 (1993).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Yen, G.C., and P.D. Duh, Antioxidant Properties of Methanolic Extracts from Peanut Hulls, Ibid.:383–386 (1993).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Mehta, R.L., J.F. Zayas, and S.S. Yang, Ajowan as a Source of Natural Lipid Antioxidant, J. Agric. Food Chem. 42:1420–1426 (1994).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Ramarathanam, N., T. Osawa, M. Namiki, and S. Kawakishi, Chemical Studies on Novel Rice Hull Antioxidants. 1. Isolation, Fractionation, and Partial Characterization, Ibid.:732–737 (1988).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Tsuda, T., M. Watanabe, K. Ohshima, A. Yamamoto, S. Kawakishi, and T. Osawa, Antioxidative Components Isolated from the Seed of Tamarind (Tamarindus indica L.), Ibid.:2671–2675 (1994).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Oomah, B.D., and G. Mazza, Flavonoids and Antioxidative Activities in Buckwheat, Ibid.:1746–1750 (1996).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Watanabe, M., Y. Ohshita, and T. Tsushida, Antioxidant Compounds from Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculantum Möench) Hulls, Ibid.:1039–1044 (1997).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Durkee, A.B., Polyphenols of the Bran-Aleurone Fraction of Buckwheat Seed (Fagopyrum sagitatum, Gilib.), J. Agric. Food Chem. 25:286–287 (1977).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Official Methods and Recommended Practices of the American Oil Chemists’ Society, Vol. I, 4th edn., American Oil Chemists’ Society, Champaign, 1991.

  14. 14.

    Hogg, J.S., D.H. Lohman, and K.E. Russell, The Kinetics of Reaction of 2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl with Phenols, Can. J. Chem. 39:1588–1594 (1961).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Lozano, Y.F., C. Bannon, and E.M. Gaydon, Unsaponifiable Matter, Total Sterol and Tocopherol Contents of Avocado Oil Varieties, J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc. 70:561–565 (1993).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Tsimidou, M., G. Papadopoulos, and D. Boskou, Determination of Phenolic Compounds in Virgin Olive Oil by Reversed-Phase HPLC with Emphasis on UV Detection, Food Chem. 44:53–57 (1993).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Nergiz, C., and K. Unal, Determination of Phenolic Acids in Virgin Olive Oil, Ibid.:237–242 (1991).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Ohara, T., H. Ohinata, N. Muramatsu, and T. Matsuhashi, Determination of Rutin in Buckwheat Foods by High-Performance Liquid Chromatography, Nippon Shokuhin Kogyo Gakkaishi 36:114–120 (1989).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Duh, P.D., D.B. Yeh, and G.C. Yen, Extraction and Identification of an Antioxidative Component from Peanut Hulls, J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc. 69:814–818 (1992).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Economou, K.D., V. Oreopoulou, and C.D. Thompoulos, Antioxidant Activity of Some Plant Extracts of the Family Labiatae, Ibid.:109–113 (1991).

    Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Onyeneho, S.N., and N.S. Hettiarachy, Effect of Navy Bean Hull Extract on the Oxidative Stability of Soy and Sunflower Oils, J. Agric. Food Chem. 39:1701–1706 (1988).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Kim, S.Y., J.H. Kim, S.K. Kim, M.J. Oh, and M.Y. Jung, Antioxidative Activity of Selected Oriental Herb Extracts, Ibid.:633–640 (1994).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Toda, S., T. Miyase, H. Arichi, H. Tanizawa, and Y. Takino, Natural Antioxidants. III. Antioxidative Components Isolated from Rhizone of Curcuma longa L., Chem. Pharm. Bull. 33:1725–1728 (1985).

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Zhang, K., Y. Bao, P. Wu, R.T. Rosen, and C. Ho, Antioxidative Components of Tanshen (Salvia miliorhiza, Bung), Ibid.:1194–1197 (1990).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Brand-Williams, W.E., M.E. Cuvelier, and C. Berset, Use of a Free Radical Method to Evaluate Antioxidant Activity, Lebensm. Wiss. Technol. 28:25–30 (1995).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    Kurechi, T., K. Kikugawa, and T. Kato, Studies on the Antioxidants. XIII. Hydrogen Donating Capabilities of Antioxidants to 2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl, Chem. Pharm. Bull. 28:2089–2093 (1980).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  27. 27.

    Porter, W.L., in Antioxidants: Chemical, Physiological, Nutritional and Toxicological Aspects, edited by G.M. Williams, Princeton Scientific, Princeton, 1993, p. 93.

    Google Scholar 

  28. 28.

    Tian, L.L., and P.J. White, Antioxidant Activity of Oat Extract in Soybean and Cottonseed Oils, J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc. 71:1087–1094 (1994).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  29. 29.

    Dziedzic, S.Z., and Hudson, B.J.F., Polyhydroxy Isoflavones as Antioxidant for Edible Oils, Food Chem. 12:205–209 (1983).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  30. 30.

    Uebersax, P., and K. Huni, Gas Chromatographic Determination of α-Tocopherol in Cereals and Grass Meals, Mitt. Geb. Lebensmittelunters. Hyg. 63:478–484 (1972).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  31. 31.

    Lorenz, K., and P. Limjaroenrat, The Alpha-Tocopherol Content of Triticale and Triticale Milling Fractions, Lebensm. Wiss. Techn. 71:86–88 (1974).

    Google Scholar 

  32. 32.

    Muller-Mulot, W., G. Rohrer, and R. Medweth, Rapid Method for the Quantitative Determination of Individual Tocopherols in Pils and Fats, Fett. Seiffen Anstrichm. 78:257–262 (1976).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. 33.

    Slover, H.T., Tocopherols in Food and Fats, Lipids 6:291–296 (1971).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  34. 34.

    Marcinkiewicz, S., The Complete Analysis of Tocopherol Mixture. III. A New Method of Determination of Tocopherols Based on Chromatography of Their Hydrogenation Products and on Spectrophotometry of Their Nitro Derivatives, Chem. Anal. (Warsaw) 17:13–20 (1972).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to R. Przybylski.

About this article

Cite this article

Przybylski, R., Lee, Y.C. & Eskin, N.A.M. Antioxidant and radical-scavenging activities of buckwheat seed components. J Amer Oil Chem Soc 75, 1595 (1998).

Download citation

Key Words

  • Antioxidants
  • buckwheat
  • DPPH
  • phenolics
  • radicals
  • scavengers
  • solvents
  • stability
  • tocopherols