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Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology

Print version ISSN 1516-8913On-line version ISSN 1678-4324


MARIUTTI, Lilian Regina Barros; BARRETO, Gisela Pizarro de Mattos; BRAGAGNOLO, Neura  and  MERCADANTE, Adriana Zerlotti. Free radical scavenging activity of ethanolic extracts from herbs and spices commercialized in Brazil. Braz. arch. biol. technol. [online]. 2008, vol.51, n.6, pp.1225-1232. ISSN 1516-8913.

Ethanolic extracts from 23 different dried herbs and spices commercialized in Brazil were investigated for their free radical scavenging properties using the stable free radicals 2,2'-diphenyl-β-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and 2,2'-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) (ABTS•+), and Trolox as reference (TEAC) for both radicals. The kinetic curves for both radicals showed to follow the first order kinetics model and the decay rate constant (kobs) was calculated. For all the samples, the two methods showed a good linear TEAC correlation, indicating that the average reactivity of the compounds present in the ethanolic extracts was similar. Sage and rosemary extracts showed the highest free radical scavenging capacities, while onion showed negligible activity and colorifico, one of the most consumed spices in Brazil, showed low ABTS•+ scavenging activity. Three distinct situations were found for the extracts concerning the DPPH scavenging capacities: (1) extracts, like rosemary and laurel, that presented the same efficient concentrations (EC50 ) but differed in the TEAC values and velocities of action (kobs), (2) extracts, such as garlic and basil, that showed similar EC50 and TEAC values, but different kobs values and (3) extracts that reacted at the same velocities but completely differed in the free radical scavenging capacities, like black pepper, savory, nutmeg, rosemary and sage. Similar considerations could be done for the ABTS•+ results. For the first time the ABTS•+ scavenging activity for allspice, basil, cardamom, chives, colorifico, cumin, dill, laurel, marjoram, parsley and tarragon was reported.

Keywords : antioxidant activity; free radical scavenging activity; DPPH; ABTS; herbs; spices; colorifico.

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