Ciência e Agrotecnologia
Print version ISSN 1413-7054
AGUIAR, Ana Carolina de et al. Evaluation of omega-3 fatty acids content and antioxidant activity in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) leaves. Ciênc. agrotec. [online]. 2011, vol.35, n.4, pp. 735-741. ISSN 1413-7054. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-70542011000400012.
The objective of this study was to quantify alpha-linolenic acid (LNA, 18:3n-3) of dried wheat leaves, harvested at different development stages (20, 40 and 80 days), to determine the antioxidant potential and the total phenolic compounds of leaves harvested at 80 days, as well as to perform mineral analysis (Na, K, Fe, Ca, Mg, P, Zn, Cu and Mn). It was observed a predominance of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) compared to saturated fatty acids (SFA) in the lipid fraction of leaves. Leaves collected in all periods presented ratios of PUFA/SFA, omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids (n-6/n-3) considered suitable for food. The highest content of LNA was found in leaves harvested at 60 days, corresponding to 2.146,72 mg 100 g-1 dried matter. The range time between 60 and 80 days showed a decline of nearly 30% in the concentration of LNA. The acetate fraction was the most effective over DPPH radical assay, showing IC50 value of 154 µg mL-1, and the phenolic compounds content was 615.4 ± 36.4 mg EAG L-1, both analyses carried out in leaves harvested at 80 days. In this development stage, wheat leaves showed significant levels of the minerals P, Zn, Cu and Mn. These results reinforce the potential of using wheat leaves in foods, according to its antioxidant content and significant levels of LNA.
Keywords : Alpha-linolenic acid; phenolic compounds; antioxidant activity.