In addition to being consumed as food, caper (Capparis spinosa L.) fruits are also used in folk medicine to treat inflammatory disorders, such as rheumatism. C. spinosa L. is rich in phenolic compounds, making it increasingly popular because of its components’ potential benefits to human health. We analyzed a number of individual phenolic compounds and investigated in vitro biological activities of C. spinosa L. Sixteen phenolic constituents were identified using reverse phase-high performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC). Total phenolic compounds (TPCs), ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity were used as determinants of antioxidant capacity. C. spinosa L. exhibited strong antioxidant activity and contained high levels of antioxidant compounds. Gentisic, sinapic and benzoic acid were detected in C. spinosa L. No gallic acid, proto-catechuic acid, proto-catechuic aldehyde, chlorogenic acid, p-OH benzoic acid, vanillic acid, caffeic acid, syringic acid, vanillin, syringaldehyde, p-coumaric acid, ferulic acid or rosmarinic acid were identified. Iron and zinc were present at high levels in samples. C. spinosa L. appears to be a good source of antioxidants and minerals that might serve to protect health and combat several diseases.
Key words: Antioxidant, capers, Capparis spinosa L., phenolics.
Abbreviations: DW, Dry weight; RP-HPLC, reverse phase-high performance liquid chromatography; TPC, total phenolic compounds; FRAP, ferric-reducing/antioxidant power; DPPH, 2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl; GAE, gallic acid equivalents; TPTZ, 2,4,6-tripyridyl-s-triazine; BHT, butylated hydroxytoluene; ROS, reactive oxygen species.
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