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Nutritional and functional evaluation of three powder mixtures based on mexican quelites: alternative ingredients to formulate food supplements

Abstract

The aim of this work was to evaluate the nutrients and antioxidant compounds of three mixtures based on leaves of Portulaca oleracea L. (P), Amaranthus hybridus L. (A) and Chenopodium berlandieri L. (C). A mixtures design was made of which 10 combinations were obtained and three of the best mixtures were selected to analysis: OP1 (P+C), OP2 (P+A) and OP3 (C+A). A macronutrient, micronutrient analysis and a HPLC profile of phenolic compounds and amino acids were performed; in addition, in vitro antioxidant activity was measured by DPPH, ABTS and FRAP assays. Results showed that OP1 has a greater content of phenolic compounds, as evidenced by increases in antioxidant activity. Proximal chemical analysis showed that OP3 has a higher protein content and dietary fiber. The main phenolic compound present was phloridzin in OP1 and OP3; on the other hand, the amino acids lysine and glutamic acid were present at high concentrations in the three mixtures. These results showed that the OP1 mixture has the best antioxidant and nutritional properties; therefore, it has the potential to be included as an ingredient in food systems or nutraceutical and biomedical applications.

Keywords:
wild edible plants; amino acid content; phenolic compounds; alternative ingredients

1 Introduction

Nowadays it is known that the consumption of native species brings benefits to the health of consumers and may represent alternatives to human nutrition, due to the presence of natural compounds that contain (Nana et al., 2012Nana, F. W., Hilou, A., Millogo, J. F., & Nacoulma, O. G. (2012). Phytochemical composition, antioxidant and xanthine oxidase inhibitory activities of Amaranthus cruentus L. and Amaranthus hybridus L. extracts. Pharmaceuticals, 5(6), 613-628. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ph5060613. PMid:24281664.
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ph5060613...
; Barreira et al., 2019Barreira, T. F., Paula, G. X. Fo., Pinheiro, S. S., Morais Cardoso, L., Silva Santos, R. H., & Pinheiro-Santana, H. M. (2019). Chemical characterization and bioactive compounds of an unconventional vegetable-Erechtites valerianifolia (Wolf) DC. Food Science and Technology (Campinas), 39(3), 546-551. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/fst.27217.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/fst.27217...
). Plants belonging to the genera Portulaca spp., Amaranthus spp., and Chenopodium spp., are considered viable food options due to their high nutritional value and economic advantages associated with the ability of these plants to develop under unfavorable climatic conditions (Fasuyi, 2007Fasuyi, A. O. (2007). Bio-nutritional evaluations of three tropical leaf vegetables (Telfairia occidentalis, Amaranthus cruentus and Talinum triangulare) as sole dietary protein sources in rat assay. Food Chemistry, 103(3), 757-765. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2006.09.030.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.200...
; Oliveira et al., 2009Oliveira, I., Valentão, P., Lopes, R., Andrade, P. B., Bento, A., & Pereira, J. A. (2009). Phytochemical characterization and radical scavenging activity of Portulaca oleraceae L. leaves and stems. Microchemical Journal, 92(2), 129-134. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.microc.2009.02.006.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.microc.2009....
; Uddin et al., 2014Uddin, M. K., Juraimi, A. S., Hossain, M. S., Nahar, M. A. U., Ali, M. E., & Rahman, M. M. (2014). Purslane weed (Portulaca oleracea): A prospective plant source of nutrition, omega-3 fatty acid, and antioxidant attributes. TheScientificWorldJournal, 2014, 951019. http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/951019. PMid:24683365.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/951019...
; Slabbert & Krüger, 2014Slabbert, M. M., & Krüger, G. H. J. (2014). Antioxidant enzyme activity, proline accumulation, leaf area and cell membrane stability in water stressed Amaranthus leaves. South African Journal of Botany, 95, 123-128. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sajb.2014.08.008.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sajb.2014.08...
; Hsu et al., 2016Hsu, B., Lin, S. Y. W., Inbaraj, B. S., & Chen, B. H. (2016). Simultaneous determination of phenolic acids and flavonoids in Chenopodium formosanum Koidz. (djulis) by HPLC-DAD-ESI-MS/MS. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, 132(5), 109-116. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpba.2016.09.027. PMid:27701037.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpba.2016.09...
). One further advantage of using these plants is that they are distributed around the world (Fasuyi, 2007Fasuyi, A. O. (2007). Bio-nutritional evaluations of three tropical leaf vegetables (Telfairia occidentalis, Amaranthus cruentus and Talinum triangulare) as sole dietary protein sources in rat assay. Food Chemistry, 103(3), 757-765. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2006.09.030.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.200...
; Slabbert & Krüger, 2014Slabbert, M. M., & Krüger, G. H. J. (2014). Antioxidant enzyme activity, proline accumulation, leaf area and cell membrane stability in water stressed Amaranthus leaves. South African Journal of Botany, 95, 123-128. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sajb.2014.08.008.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sajb.2014.08...
; Bhargava et al., 2006Bhargava, A., Shukla, S., Dixit, B. S., Bannerji, R., & Ohri, D. (2006). Variability and genotype cutting interactions for different nutritional components in Chenopodium album L. Horticultural Science (Prague), 33(1), 29-38. http://dx.doi.org/10.17221/3737-HORTSCI.
http://dx.doi.org/10.17221/3737-HORTSCI...
). Particularly in Mexico, we can find a vast variety of native vascular plants, belonging to the genera mentioned above and popularly known as “quelites” (Santiago-Saenz et al., 2019Santiago-Saenz, Y. O., Hernández-Fuentes, A. D., López-Palestina, C. U., Garrido-Cauich, J. H., Alatorre-Cruz, J. M., & Monroy-Torres, R. (2019). Nutritional importance and biological activity of bioactive compounds from quelites consumed in Mexico. Revista Chilena de Nutrición, 46(5), 593-605. http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-75182019000500593.
http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-75182019...
). Several studies have shown that some species of these genera are a good source of nutrients and bioactive compounds, as Ca, Mg, Zn and Fe, protein, amino acids such as alanin, leucine and glycine and important concentrations of phenols, flavonoids, carotenoids and omega 3 (Fasuyi, 2007Fasuyi, A. O. (2007). Bio-nutritional evaluations of three tropical leaf vegetables (Telfairia occidentalis, Amaranthus cruentus and Talinum triangulare) as sole dietary protein sources in rat assay. Food Chemistry, 103(3), 757-765. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2006.09.030.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.200...
; Santiago-Saenz et al., 2019Santiago-Saenz, Y. O., Hernández-Fuentes, A. D., López-Palestina, C. U., Garrido-Cauich, J. H., Alatorre-Cruz, J. M., & Monroy-Torres, R. (2019). Nutritional importance and biological activity of bioactive compounds from quelites consumed in Mexico. Revista Chilena de Nutrición, 46(5), 593-605. http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-75182019000500593.
http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-75182019...
; Slabbert & Krüger, 2014Slabbert, M. M., & Krüger, G. H. J. (2014). Antioxidant enzyme activity, proline accumulation, leaf area and cell membrane stability in water stressed Amaranthus leaves. South African Journal of Botany, 95, 123-128. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sajb.2014.08.008.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sajb.2014.08...
; Alam et al., 2014Alam, M. A., Juraimi, A. S., Rafii, M. Y., Abdul-Hamid, A., Aslani, F., Hasan, M. M., Mohd-Zainudin, M. A., & Uddin, M. K. (2014). Evaluation of antioxidant compounds, antioxidant activities, and mineral composition of 13 collected purslane (Portulaca oleracea L.) accessions. BioMed Research International, 296063, 296063. http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/29606. PMid:24579078.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/29606...
; Simopoulos, 2004Simopoulos, A. P. (2004). Omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants in edible wild plants. Biological Research, 37(2), 263-277. http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0716-97602004000200013. PMid:15455656.
http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0716-97602004...
).

According to the literature, the consumption of these wild plants brings multiple health benefits due to their antioxidant effects (Santiago-Saenz et al., 2019Santiago-Saenz, Y. O., Hernández-Fuentes, A. D., López-Palestina, C. U., Garrido-Cauich, J. H., Alatorre-Cruz, J. M., & Monroy-Torres, R. (2019). Nutritional importance and biological activity of bioactive compounds from quelites consumed in Mexico. Revista Chilena de Nutrición, 46(5), 593-605. http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-75182019000500593.
http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-75182019...
; Al-Quraishy et al., 2012Al-Quraishy, S., Dkhil, M. A., & Abdel-Moneim, A. E. (2012). Protective effects of Portulaca oleracea against rotenone mediated depletion of glutathione in the striatum of rats as an animal model of Parkinson’s disease. Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology, 103(2), 108-114. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pestbp.2012.04.005.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pestbp.2012....
).

On the other hand, consumers are more conscious of leading a healthy life, increasing interest in preventive measures such as a high consumption of fruits and vegetables, because they are rich in bioactive compounds. However, no food has a composition that meets all the nutrients necessary to meet the daily demands of the body (Bresciani et al., 2015Bresciani, L., Calani, L., Cossu, M., Mena, P., Sayegh, M., Ray, S., & Del Rio, D. (2015). (Poly) phenolic characterization of three food supplements containing 36 different fruits, vegetables and berries. PharmaNutrition, 3(2), 11-19. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phanu.2015.01.001.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phanu.2015.0...
; Rajakumari et al., 2017Rajakumari, R., Oluwafemi, O. S., Thomas, S., & Kalarikkal, N. (2017). Dietary supplements containing vitamins and minerals: formulation, optimization and evaluation. Powder Technology, 336, 481-492. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.powtec.2018.06.026.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.powtec.2018....
). In this context, the market for nutraceuticals based on plants and foods is being promoted to meet the demands of consumers (Goldfarb et al., 2011Goldfarb, A. H., Garten, R. S., Cho, C., Chee, P. D., & Chambers, L. A. (2011). Effects of a fruit/berry/vegetable supplement on muscle function and oxidative stress. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 43(3), 501-508. http://dx.doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181f1ef48. PMid:20689455.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181...
; Rajakumari et al., 2017Rajakumari, R., Oluwafemi, O. S., Thomas, S., & Kalarikkal, N. (2017). Dietary supplements containing vitamins and minerals: formulation, optimization and evaluation. Powder Technology, 336, 481-492. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.powtec.2018.06.026.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.powtec.2018....
; Bresciani et al., 2017Bresciani, L., Martini, D., Mena, P., Tassotti, M., Calani, L., Brigati, G., Brighenti, F., Holasek, S., Malliga, D.-E., Lamprecht, M., & Del Rio, D. (2017). Absorption profile of (poly) phenolic compounds after consumption of three food supplements containing 36 different fruits, vegetables, and berries. Nutrients, 9(3), 194. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu9030194. PMid:28245627.
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu9030194...
). Several investigations have proposed the elaboration of ingredients or dietary supplements, containing combinations of herbs, extracts, vitamins, minerals and amino acids in various presentations, with the aim of increasing the contribution of nutrients necessary for a healthy life (Rajakumari et al., 2017Rajakumari, R., Oluwafemi, O. S., Thomas, S., & Kalarikkal, N. (2017). Dietary supplements containing vitamins and minerals: formulation, optimization and evaluation. Powder Technology, 336, 481-492. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.powtec.2018.06.026.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.powtec.2018....
). Therefore, some works have made mixtures based on wheat starch, whey protein concentrate and peanut oil to promote an adequate intake of macronutrients in diabetic patients (Pawar & Thompkinson, 2014Pawar, K., & Thompkinson, D. K. (2014). Optimization of ingredients for formulating a diabetic dietary supplement. Journal of Food Science and Technology, 51(5), 875-883. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13197-011-0566-y. PMid:24803693.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13197-011-056...
). Mixtures of Chenopodium quinoa Willd and Lupinus Albus L. have also been made, to increase the protein content that the species alone would not have and thus meet the daily requirements in children aged 2-5 years, who are considered as a population at risk of nutritional deficit (Cerezal-Mezquita et al., 2007Cerezal-Mezquita, P., Carrasco-Verdejo, A., Pinto-Tapia, K., Romero-Palacios, N., & Arcos-Zavala, R. (2007). Suplemento alimenticio de alto contenido proteico para niños de 2-5 años. Desarrollo de la formulación y aceptabilidad. Interciencia, 32, 857-864.). On the other hand, a clinical trial (Bresciani et al., 2017Bresciani, L., Martini, D., Mena, P., Tassotti, M., Calani, L., Brigati, G., Brighenti, F., Holasek, S., Malliga, D.-E., Lamprecht, M., & Del Rio, D. (2017). Absorption profile of (poly) phenolic compounds after consumption of three food supplements containing 36 different fruits, vegetables, and berries. Nutrients, 9(3), 194. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu9030194. PMid:28245627.
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu9030194...
) showed that the intake of supplements based on fruits and vegetables allowed the effective absorption of phenolic compounds in plasma.

In this context, quelites are a rich source of phytochemicals and nutrients that can be incorporated into the diet as supplements and/or food ingredients to meet daily requirements of essential macro and micronutrients (Santiago-Saenz et al., 2019Santiago-Saenz, Y. O., Hernández-Fuentes, A. D., López-Palestina, C. U., Garrido-Cauich, J. H., Alatorre-Cruz, J. M., & Monroy-Torres, R. (2019). Nutritional importance and biological activity of bioactive compounds from quelites consumed in Mexico. Revista Chilena de Nutrición, 46(5), 593-605. http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-75182019000500593.
http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-75182019...
). Therefore, the aim of this work was to evaluate the nutritional and antioxidant properties of three mixtures made with quelites (leaves) of species Portulaca oleracea L., Amaranthus hybridus L. and Chenopodium berlandieri L. and thus provide reference data for future applications as production of food human supplements.

2 Materials and methods

2.1 Plant materials

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea L.), quintonil (Amaranthus hybridus L.) and quelite cenizo (Chenopodium berlandieri L.), were collected on March 2018, at Acaxochitlan, Hidalgo, Mexico (Latitude: 20°04’ and 20°16’N; longitude: 98°06’ and 98°18’W). Young plants were selected and non-rot and non-infested samples were used. Then, leaves were detached from stems and used for the mixtures. Selected leaves were washed and disinfected with colloidal silver (0.35% w/v), and dried at room temperature (25°C). Samples were stored at -76 °C (Thermo-Scientific, 703, Outside, USA) for 72 h, and then lyophilized at 133×10-3 mBar at -40°C (LABCONCO, 79480, Missouri, USA). Once the samples were lyophilized, they were ground in a blade mill (Grindomix, Retsch GM 200, Germany) at 9000 rpm for 1 min until a 150 μm powder was obtained.

2.2 Mixtures preparation

Previously, a 3-component mixture design (q = 3) was created in the Minitab 14 statistical package (Minitab Inc., Pennsylvania) using a simplex centroid design based on the Scheffé model and including additional points. The design of mixtures provided 10 different experiments of which 7 resulted in combinations. In the experiments obtained, the antioxidant activity was evaluated by DPPH and ABTS methods and the concentration of total phenols and flavonoids, considered as the response variables to identify the best mixtures with antioxidant properties, were also evaluated. Afterward, the parameters of the model were investigated to predict the maximum value of f (x) and the ones that best adjusted the response variables were used with the help of the statistical package. The general expression of the model was calculated (Equation 1).

f x = β 1 x 1 + β 2 x 2 + β 3 x 3 + β 12 x 1 x 2 + β 13 x 1 x 3 + β 23 x 2 x 3 + β 123 x 1 x 2 x 3 (1)

where f(x): depended variable; β: linear coefficients and x: independent variable

Later, an optimization process was carried out. A selection of the best mixtures derived from the process were the following: OP1 [Portulaca oleracea L. (50%) + Chenopodium berlandieri L. (50%)], OP2 [Portulaca oleracea L. (50%) + Amaranthus hybridus L. (50%)] and OP3 [Chenopodium berlandieri L. (50%) +Amaranthus hybridus L. (50%)]. After determining the best combinations, these were stored in Stand-Up bags (Clifton Packaging brand) and were kept at 4 °C for one week. After, we proceeded to evaluate the nutritional properties and obtain a more detailed evaluation of the bioactive compounds present in the selected mixtures.

2.3 Nutrients content

Proximal chemical analysis

Carbohydrates, fats, proteins, ashes, fiber and humidity, were determined according to official methods of analysis of AOAC International (Association of Official Analytical Chemists International, 2005Association of Official Analytical Chemists International – AOAC. (2005). Official methods of analysis of AOAC International (18th ed.). Gaithersburg: AOAC.), and the results are expressed in g/100 g of dry weight (DW). The energy was determined according to Chahdoura et al. (2015)Chahdoura, H., Morales, P., Barreira, J., Barros, L., Fernandez-Ruiz, V., Ferreira, I., & Achour, L. (2015). Dietary fiber, mineral elements profile and macronutrients composition in different edible parts of Opuntia microdasys (Lehm.) Pfeiff and Opuntia macrorhiza (Engelm.). Lebensmittel-Wissenschaft + Technologie, 64(1), 446-451. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lwt.2015.05.011.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lwt.2015.05....
.

Dietary fiber

Soluble dietary fiber (SDF) and insoluble dietary fiber (IDF) were determined according to the enzymatic gravimetric method (993.19 and 991.42) from AOAC (Association of Official Analytical Chemists International, 2005Association of Official Analytical Chemists International – AOAC. (2005). Official methods of analysis of AOAC International (18th ed.). Gaithersburg: AOAC.). Results are expressed as g/100 g DW.

Mineral content

For the determination of the minerals, 0.5 g sample was weighed and digested with a diacid mixture (HNO3:HClO4). The concentration of P was measured by colorimetry of the phosphovanadomolybdate complex, according to the method described by AOAC (Association of Official Analytical Chemists International, 2005Association of Official Analytical Chemists International – AOAC. (2005). Official methods of analysis of AOAC International (18th ed.). Gaithersburg: AOAC.), and reading at 470 nm (Spectrophotometer Milton Roy, model Spectronic 20, USA). The concentration of K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, Na, Se and B were quantified by atomic emission spectroscopy (Varian, model 725-ES, Mulgrave, Australia). The results are expressed as mg/100 g DW.

Amino acid profile

The amino acid content in the optimized mixtures was determined according to Li et al. (2012)Li, P., Zeng, Z., Wang, D., Xue, L., Zhang, R., & Piao, X. (2012). Effects of the standardized ileal digestible lysine to metabolizable energy ratio on performance and carcass characteristics of growing-finishing pigs. Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology, 3(1), 1-9. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/2049-1891-3-1. PMid:22958522.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/2049-1891-3-1...
, Nielsen et al. (1985)Nielsen, H., Klein, A., & Hurrell, R. (1985). Stability of tryptophan during food processing and storage. British Journal of Nutrition, 53(2), 293-300. http://dx.doi.org/10.1079/BJN19850036. PMid:3877525.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1079/BJN19850036...
and Morales de León et al. (2005)Morales de León, J., Camacho, M. E., & Bourges, H. (2005). Amino acid composition of some Mexican foods. Archivos Latinoamericanos de Nutricion, 55(2), 172-186. PMid:16335228.. An acid hydrolysis was performed, then we used a cation-exchange separation column of 4.6 x 150 mm (Sykam GmbH, LCA K06/Na, Germany) with post column ninhydrin derivation, using an amino acid analyzer (Sykam GmbH, Germany). The results are reported in g/100g of protein.

2.4 Antioxidant compounds

Samples preparation

To determine the content of bioactive compounds and antioxidant capacity, 0.1 g of optimized samples were mixed with 10 mL of acetone (carotenoids and chlorophylls) or with 10 mL of 80% methanol (v/v) (phenols, flavonoids, DPPH, ABTS and FRAP). Then, mixtures were sonicated for 20 min at 40 kHz and 25 °C (Ultrasonicator, LSS, 32V118A, China) and centrifuged at 12500 xg for 10 min at 5 °C (Thermo-Scientific centrifuge, ST 16R, Germany).

Total carotenoids

Isochromatic fractions of red (RC= capsanthin and capsorubin) and yellow (YC= β-carotene, β- cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin) carotenoids were evaluated according to Hornero-Méndez & Mínguez-Mosquera (2001)Hornero-Méndez, D., & Mínguez-Mosquera, M. I. (2001). Rapid spectrophotometric determination of red and yellow isochromic carotenoid fractions in paprika and red pepper oleoresins. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 49(8), 3584-3588. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jf010400l. PMid:11513632.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jf010400l...
. Sample absorbance was measured on a UV-Vis spectrophotometer (Jenway, 6715, USA), at 472 and 508 nm, respectively. The results are expressed as mg/g DW.

Chlorophyll

Alpha, beta and total chlorophyll content were determined according to Witham et al. (1971)Witham, F. F., Blaydes, D. F., & Devlin, R. M. (1971). Experiments in plant physiology. New York: Van Nostrand Rteinhold Company.. The absorbance was measured at wavelengths of 645 and 663 nm, and the corresponding equations for each chlorophyll type were used. The results are reported as mg of chlorophyll per gram of dry weight (mg/g DW) (Equation 2).

mgchlorophylla/gpowder=12.7xA6632.69xA645xV/100xWmgchlorophyllb/gpowder=22.9xA6454.68xA663xV/100xW(2)

where A: absorbance; V: volume of chlorophyll extract and W: weight

Total phenols and flavonoids concentration

Phenols contents were determined using the Folin Ciocalteu method, described by Singleton & Rossi (1965)Singleton, V. L., & Rossi, J. A. (1965). Colorimetry of total phenolics with phosphomolybdic phosphotungstic acid reagents. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, 16, 144-158., with some modifications. From the supernatant, 0.5 mL was mixed with 0.5 mL of Folin-Ciocalteu reagent diluted in water to a concentration of 50% (w/v). The mixture was left to rest for 7 min, then, 1.5 mL of sodium carbonate at 2% (w/v) was added and left to react in darkness for 60 min. The absorbance was measured at a wavelength of 725 nm. The results are expressed as mg of gallic acid equivalents per g of dry weight (mg GAE/g DW). Total flavonoids contents was determined according to Rosales et al. (2011)Rosales, M. A., Cervilla, L. M., Sánchez-Rodríguez, E., Rubio-Wilhelmi, M. M., Blasco, B., Ríos, J. J., Soriano, T., Castilla, N., Romero, L., & Ruiz, J. M. (2011). The effect of environmental conditions on nutritional quality of cherry tomato fruits: evaluation of two experimental Mediterranean greenhouses. Journal of Food Science and Agriculture, 91(1), 152-162. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jsfa.4166. PMid:20853276.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jsfa.4166...
; 0.5 mL from the supernatant was mixed with 0.15 mL of NaNO2 (5% w/v) and 2 mL of distilled water and the mixture was left to rest for 5 min in total darkness. A quantity of 0.15 mL of AlCl3•6H2O (10% w/v) was added, along with 1 mL of NaOH (1M), and the mixture rested for another 15 min. The absorbance was measured at a wavelength of 415 nm. The results are expressed as mg of quercetin equivalents per g of dry weight (mg QE/g DW).

Phenolic compounds analysis by HPLC

Phenolic acids and flavonoids were determined according to Aguiñiga-Sánchez et al. (2017)Aguiñiga-Sánchez, I., Cadena-Íñiguez, J., Santiago-Osorio, E., Gómez-García, G., Mendoza-Núñez, V. M., Rosado-Pérez, J., Ruíz-Ramos, M., Cisneros-Solano, V. M., Ledesma-Martínez, E., Delgado-Bordonave, A. J., & Soto-Hernández, R. M. (2017). Chemical analyses and in vitro and in vivo toxicity of fruit methanol extract of Sechium edule var. nigrum spinosum. Pharmaceutical Biology, 55(1), 1638-1645. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13880209.2017.1316746. PMid:28427292.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13880209.2017....
. The content and type of metabolites present in each sample were identified by high performance liquid chromatography (Agilent Technologies 1100, USA) with a diode array detector (DAD). A Nucleosil 100-C18 of 125 x 4.0 mm column with an internal diameter of 5 μm (Macherey-Nagel, Germany) was used for the phenols. For flavonoids, a Hypersil 100-C18 of 125 x 40 mm column with an internal diameter of 5 μm (Agilent Technologies, USA) was used. In the HPLC analysis 8 phenolic acids were used (HPLC Grade) as caffeic, gallic, chlorogenic, vanillic, p-coumaric, syringic, p-hydroxybenzoic and ferulic (Sigma Aldrich, EE.UU.). On the other hand, 7 HPLC grade flavonoid standards were used as rutin, phloridzin, myricetin, quercetin, naringenin, phloretin and galangin (Sigma Aldrich, USA). The results are expressed as mg/g DW.

Analysis of antioxidant activity

Antioxidant activity was determined by DPPH, ABTS and FRAP assays. The DPPH (2,2'-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) method was carried out according to Brand-Williams et al. (1995)Brand-Williams, W., Cuvelier, M. E., & Berset, C. L. W. T. (1995). Use of a free radical method to evaluate antioxidant activity. Lebensmittel-Wissenschaft + Technologie, 28(1), 25-30. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0023-6438(95)80008-5.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0023-6438(95)...
; the absorbance was measured at 517 nm (A517). For the ABTS [2,2′-Azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid)] method was according to Re et al. (1999)Re, R., Pellegrini, N., Proteggente, A., Pannala, A., Yang, M., & Rice-Evans, C. (1999). Antioxidant activity applying an improved ABTS radical cation decolorization assay. Free Radical Biology & Medicine, 26(9-10), 1231-1237. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0891-5849(98)00315-3. PMid:10381194.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0891-5849(98)...
; the absorbance was measured at 734 nm. The antioxidant capacity was determined by the ferric reducing ability of the plasma assay (FRAP) reported by Benzie & Strain (1996)Benzie, J., & Strain, J. (1996). The ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP) as a measure of antioxidant power: The FRAP assay. Analytical Biochemistry, 239(1), 70-76. http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/abio.1996.0292. PMid:8660627.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/abio.1996.0292...
; the absorbance was measured at 593 nm. All of the results are expressed as µM of Trolox equivalents per gram of dry weight (µM TE/g DW).

Statistical analysis

All data were expressed as the mean ± standard deviation (n = 5) and analyzed using and analysis of variance (ANOVA) and a Tukey’s multiple comparison of means test (p ≤ 0.05). The SAS System for Windows version 9.4 was used for all the analysis.

3 Results and discussion

3.1 Nutritional content

A proximate composition of each optimized sample is shown in Table 1. OP1 has a higher carbohydrate content, followed by the OP2 sample, this is because purslane is richer in carbohydrates than quelite cenizo and quintonil. All samples show a low-fat proportion; nonetheless, the samples that contain purslane have greater fat content. Since purslane has a higher level of α-linolenic acid (18:3), and omega 3 fatty acid essential for human nutrition, than any other green leafy vegetable, and is also rich in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) (Oliveira et al., 2009Oliveira, I., Valentão, P., Lopes, R., Andrade, P. B., Bento, A., & Pereira, J. A. (2009). Phytochemical characterization and radical scavenging activity of Portulaca oleraceae L. leaves and stems. Microchemical Journal, 92(2), 129-134. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.microc.2009.02.006.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.microc.2009....
; Uddin et al., 2014Uddin, M. K., Juraimi, A. S., Hossain, M. S., Nahar, M. A. U., Ali, M. E., & Rahman, M. M. (2014). Purslane weed (Portulaca oleracea): A prospective plant source of nutrition, omega-3 fatty acid, and antioxidant attributes. TheScientificWorldJournal, 2014, 951019. http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/951019. PMid:24683365.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/951019...
). The OP1 sample could be a good source of essential fatty acids. Regarding protein content, OP3 has 44.5% more protein, compared to the OP2 sample, which is second in protein content. This is because quelites from Chenopodium spp. and Amaranthus spp. are rich in this macronutrient, being comparable or even greater than important cereals such as corn, rice and wheat (Vega-Gálvez et al., 2010Vega-Gálvez, A., Miranda, M., Vergara, J., Uribe, E., Puente, L., & Martínez, E. A. (2010). Nutrition facts and functional potential of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa willd.), an ancient Andean grain: a review. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 90(15), 2541-2547. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jsfa.4158. PMid:20814881.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jsfa.4158...
). According to the proximal composition of the optimized samples we can say that, assimilable carbohydrates and proteins are the main source of energy that the mixtures can provide. The highest ash value was found in OP3, meanwhile, OP2 had the lowest ash value. These values are similar to those reported by Dixit et al. (2018)Dixit, D. C., Reddy, C. R. K., Balar, N., Suthar, P., Gajaria, T., & Gadhavi, D. K. (2018). Assessment of the nutritive, biochemical, antioxidant and antibacterial potential of eight tropical macro algae along Kachchh coast, India as human food supplements. Journal of Aquatic Food Product Technology, 27(1), 61-79. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10498850.2017.1396274.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10498850.2017....
, in seaweed used as supplements where ash concentrations of 24.92 to 43.18 g/100 g are found. According to the authors, the ash content determines the presence of a significant amount of minerals that are essential to human nutrition. Regarding to the dietary fiber content we found a good concentration in the OP3 sample.

Table 1
Determination of macronutrients, dietary fiber (g/100 g DW) and energy value (kJ/100 g DW) in three optimized mixtures based on quelites leaves.

Fiber content is important because of its health properties, such as gastrointestinal tract regulation, feces consistency, hypolipidemic effects and its cardioprotective benefits (Rideout et al., 2008Rideout, T. C., Harding, S. V., Jones, P. J. H., & Fan, M. Z. (2008). Guar gum and similar soluble fibers in the regulation of cholesterol metabolism: Current understandings and future research priorities. Vascular Health and Risk Management, 4(5), 1023-1033. http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/VHRM.S3512. PMid:19183750.
http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/VHRM.S3512...
).

Table 2 shows the content of 11 minerals present in each of the previously mentioned quelites-based optimized samples; dietary reference intakes were included (World Health Organization, 2004World Health Organization – WHO, & Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations – FAO. (2004). Vitamin and mineral requirements in human nutrition. Geneva: WHO/FAO., 2012aWorld Health Organization – WHO. (2012a). Guideline: potassium intake for adults and children. Geneva: WHO., bWorld Health Organization – WHO. (2012b). Guideline: sodium intake for adults and children. Geneva: WHO.; Rainey et al., 1999Rainey, C. J., Nyquist, L. A., Christensen, R. E., Strong, P. L., Culver, B. D., & Coughlin, J. R. (1999). Daily boron intake from the American diet. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 99(3), 335-340. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0002-8223(99)00085-1. PMid:10076586.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0002-8223(99)...
; Pizzorno, 2015Pizzorno, L. (2015). Nothing Boring About Boron. Integrative Medicine (Encinitas, Calif.), 14(4), 35-48. PMid:26770156.; Mancini et al., 2017Mancini, F. R., Affret, A., Dow, C., Balkau, B., Clavel-Chapelon, F., Bonnet, F., Boutron-Ruault, M.-C., & Fagherazzi, G. (2017). High dietary phosphorus intake is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in the large prospective E3N cohort study. Clinical Nutrition (Edinburgh, Lothian), 37(5), 1625-1630. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2017.07.025. PMid:28818343.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2017.07...
). All three samples show a good amount of macroelements (P, Ca, Mg, K and Na) and microelements (Fe, Cu, Mn, Zn, B and Se). The content range of the macroelements varied between 8186.09 and 8973.68 mg/100 g DW, with OP2 being the sample with the lowest content, and OP1, the sample with the highest value. On the other hand, OP1 showed the lowest trace elements concentration (30.6 mg/100 g DW), and OP3 had the highest concentration of trace elements (95.22 mg/100 g DW).

Table 2
Macroelements and microelements content (mg/100 g DW) in three optimized mixtures based on quelites leaves and dietary reference intakes (DRI).

Nonetheless, Ca values from the samples OP2 and OP3 are above the DRI, while Mg content in all samples is within the DRI; these minerals are important for bone growth, development and stability, as well as for the good health of the muscular system (World Health Organization, 2004World Health Organization – WHO, & Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations – FAO. (2004). Vitamin and mineral requirements in human nutrition. Geneva: WHO/FAO.; Frossard et al., 2000Frossard, E., Bucher, M., Mächler, F., Mozafar, A., & Hurrell, R. (2000). Potential for increasing the content and bioavailability of Fe, Zn and Ca in plants for human nutrition. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 80(7), 861-879. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1097-0010(20000515)80:7<861::AID-JSFA601>3.0.CO;2-P.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1097-001...
). Boron is a micronutrient that also plays a role in bone maintenance and proper development, along with calcium, magnesium and phosphorus metabolism (Rainey et al., 1999Rainey, C. J., Nyquist, L. A., Christensen, R. E., Strong, P. L., Culver, B. D., & Coughlin, J. R. (1999). Daily boron intake from the American diet. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 99(3), 335-340. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0002-8223(99)00085-1. PMid:10076586.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0002-8223(99)...
; Pizzorno, 2015Pizzorno, L. (2015). Nothing Boring About Boron. Integrative Medicine (Encinitas, Calif.), 14(4), 35-48. PMid:26770156.). Boron presence was found mainly in OP3, followed by the OP1 sample. The Na/K ratio varied from 0.56 to 0.81, with the OP3 sample showing the best Na/K ratio, these results are interesting from a nutritional point of view, since a diet with a balanced Na/K ratio is crucial for hypertensive people (World Health Organization, 2004World Health Organization – WHO, & Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations – FAO. (2004). Vitamin and mineral requirements in human nutrition. Geneva: WHO/FAO.). Iron is a micronutrient required for oxygen-transporting protein synthesis, such as hemoglobin and myoglobin, and it is also required for enzymes that produce energy, for the immune system and thyroid enzymes (World Health Organization, 2004World Health Organization – WHO, & Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations – FAO. (2004). Vitamin and mineral requirements in human nutrition. Geneva: WHO/FAO.; Frossard et al., 2000Frossard, E., Bucher, M., Mächler, F., Mozafar, A., & Hurrell, R. (2000). Potential for increasing the content and bioavailability of Fe, Zn and Ca in plants for human nutrition. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 80(7), 861-879. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1097-0010(20000515)80:7<861::AID-JSFA601>3.0.CO;2-P.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1097-001...
). All optimized samples are within the DRI for iron, nonetheless, OP3 and OP2 are richer in this element, due to the presence of quintonil, which is a high source of Fe (Santiago-Saenz et al., 2018Santiago-Saenz, Y. O., Hernández-Fuentes, A. D., Monroy-Torres, R., Cariño-Cortés, R., & Jiménez-Alvarado, R. (2018). Physicochemical, nutritional and antioxidant characterization of three vegetables (Amaranthus hybridus L., Chenopodium berlandieri L., Portulaca oleracea L.) as potential sources of phytochemicals and bioactive compounds. Journal of Food Measurement and Characterization, 12(4), 2855-2864. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11694-018-9900-7.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11694-018-990...
). The high concentration of Fe in OP2 and OP3 could also interact with flavonoids forming chelates, thus potentiating the antioxidant effect of the flavonoids (Malesev & Kuntic, 2007Malesev, D., & Kuntic, V. (2007). Investigation of metal-flavonoid chelates and the determination of flavonoids via metal-flavonoid complexing reactions. Journal of the Serbian Chemical Society, 72(10), 921-939. http://dx.doi.org/10.2298/JSC0710921M.
http://dx.doi.org/10.2298/JSC0710921M...
; Cherrak et al., 2016Cherrak, S. A., Mokhtari-Soulimane, N., Berroukeche, F., Bensenane, B., Cherbonnel, A., Merzouk, H., & Elhabiri, M. (2016). In vitro antioxidant versus metal ion chelating properties of flavonoids: A structure-activity investigation. PLoS One, 11(10), e0165575. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0165575. PMid:27788249.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0...
). Therefore, quintonil is the most important source to increase the content of Fe in the mixtures. On the other hand, besides iron, manganese is the second most abundant micronutrient in the samples, with the OP3 sample having the highest Mn content. Manganese is important to several enzymes that depend on it to function, such as metalloenzymes that are involved in glycolysis and lipid and protein degradation (National Academy Press, 1989National Academy Press – NAP. (1989). Recommended dietary allowances (10th ed.). Washington: NAP.). Zinc is the third most abundant micronutrient in the OP samples, while copper is the least abundant element in our samples, nonetheless, both elements are in a greater proportion in OP2 samples. According to the literature (World Health Organization, 2004World Health Organization – WHO, & Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations – FAO. (2004). Vitamin and mineral requirements in human nutrition. Geneva: WHO/FAO.), Zn and Cu are essential cofactors for enzyme complexes (cytochrome C-oxidase) that stabilize the cellular membrane, for hormones and nucleic acids. On the other hand, the sum of the minerals K+Na+Mg+Ca expressed in mg/100g DW of the obtained mixtures is higher compared to vegetables that are commonly consumed as sweet corn (1342), potatoes (6015), tomatoes (3429) and carrots (3276) (Dixit et al., 2018Dixit, D. C., Reddy, C. R. K., Balar, N., Suthar, P., Gajaria, T., & Gadhavi, D. K. (2018). Assessment of the nutritive, biochemical, antioxidant and antibacterial potential of eight tropical macro algae along Kachchh coast, India as human food supplements. Journal of Aquatic Food Product Technology, 27(1), 61-79. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10498850.2017.1396274.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10498850.2017....
). Therefore, the mineral concentrations found in the samples can contribute significantly to the dietary reference intakes (DRI).

The amino acid content of the samples is shown in Table 3; dietary reference intakes were included (National Academy Press, 1989National Academy Press – NAP. (1989). Recommended dietary allowances (10th ed.). Washington: NAP.; World Health Organization, 2007World Health Organization – WHO. (2007). Protein and amino acid requirements in human nutrition. Geneva: WHO.; Institute of Medicine, 2005Institute of Medicine – IFM. (2005). Dietary reference intakes for energy, carbohydrate, fiber, fat, fatty acids, cholesterol, protein, and amino acids. Washington: National Academies Press.). The amino acid (a.a) profile indicates that all the samples have relevant concentrations of 17. Lysine and glutamic acid are the most abundant amino acids, while methionine is found in a lower proportion. It has been reported that essential amino acids like lysine should be ingested in the diet or by supplements (Tomé & Bos, 2007Tomé, D., & Bos, C. (2007). Lysine requirement through the human life cycle. The Journal of Nutrition, 137(6, Suppl 2), 1642S-1645S. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jn/137.6.1642S. PMid:17513440.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jn/137.6.1642S...
). According to Schnekenburger & Diederich (2015)Schnekenburger, M., & Diederich, M. (2015). Epigenetic cancer therapy. USA: Elsevier. the main role of lysine is in protein synthesis and as precursor for carnitine biosynthesis, which is important in beta-oxidation. On the other hand, glutamic acid is involved from amino acid catabolism to urea synthesis, and it is also a brain neurotransmitter (World Health Organization, 2007World Health Organization – WHO. (2007). Protein and amino acid requirements in human nutrition. Geneva: WHO.; Institute of Medicine, 2005Institute of Medicine – IFM. (2005). Dietary reference intakes for energy, carbohydrate, fiber, fat, fatty acids, cholesterol, protein, and amino acids. Washington: National Academies Press.; Tomé & Bos, 2007Tomé, D., & Bos, C. (2007). Lysine requirement through the human life cycle. The Journal of Nutrition, 137(6, Suppl 2), 1642S-1645S. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jn/137.6.1642S. PMid:17513440.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jn/137.6.1642S...
). It is worth noting that, despite methionine being the least abundant amino acid, the samples contain at least 77% of the daily recommended uptake of methionine. When comparing the optimized samples regarding the total essential amino acids, the OP1 sample turned out to be the best. However, when considering the contribution of essential amino acids per 100g of sample, the OP3 mixture (21.93 g) provides a higher content followed by the OP1 (15.11 g) and OP2 (15.08 g) samples. These values are comparable to other sources of essential amino acids of vegetable origin such as oat (13.7 g), wheat (18.0 g), soy (19.9 g) and brown rice (22.1 g) (Gorissen et al., 2018Gorissen, S. H., Crombag, J. J., Senden, J. M., Waterval, W. H., Bierau, J., Verdijk, L. B., & Van Loon, L. J. (2018). Protein content and amino acid composition of commercially available plant-based protein isolates. Amino Acids, 50(12), 1685-1695. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00726-018-2640-5. PMid:30167963.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00726-018-264...
).

Table 3
Amino acid composition (g/100 g protein) in three optimized mixtures based on quelites leaves and dietary reference intakes (DRI).

These results show that the optimized vegetable samples are a viable dietary option, not only for their general amino acid content, but also because they contribute to a very similar methionine DRI to that which its most common sources can provide.

3.2 Antioxidant compounds

Carotenoids and total chlorophyll in the optimized sample OP1 were 3.25 and 1.40 times higher respectively than the optimized sample OP3, which showed the lowest concentration of these photosynthetic pigments (Table 4). The OP1 and OP2 samples are rich in these pigments due to the presence of purslane in their composition. This agrees with other investigations which mentioned that purslane has an elevated content of alpha and beta chlorophylls (Nurfaizah et al., 2015Nurfaizah, C., Krisdiyanto, D., Khamidinal, K., & Sudarlin, S. (2015). Krokot Extract (Portulaca Oleracea. L) as natural light-harvesting pigments for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs): Influence of Dye Acidity. Biology. Medicine and Natural Product Chemistry, 4(1), 17. http://dx.doi.org/10.14421/biomedich.2015.41.17-24.
http://dx.doi.org/10.14421/biomedich.201...
). Our results showed that foliage from OP1 samples is a good source of photosynthetic pigments; in addition, the proportion of carotenoids that OP1 contains are similar to other food supplements. On the market, there are capsules based on mixtures of fruits, vegetables and berries (Juice Plus) that can provide to 3.06 mg of carotenoids in form of β-carotene per gram of sample (Goldfarb et al., 2011Goldfarb, A. H., Garten, R. S., Cho, C., Chee, P. D., & Chambers, L. A. (2011). Effects of a fruit/berry/vegetable supplement on muscle function and oxidative stress. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 43(3), 501-508. http://dx.doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181f1ef48. PMid:20689455.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181...
). Likewise, the total carotenoid content of the optimized mixtures is higher than that reported in edible fresh vegetables such as lettuce (0.808 mg/g DW) (Bhaskarachary et al., 1995Bhaskarachary, K., Rao, D. S., Deosthale, Y. G., & Reddy, V. (1995). Carotene content of some common and less familiar foods of plant origin. Food Chemistry, 54(2), 189-193. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0308-8146(95)00029-I.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0308-8146(95)0...
) and cabbage (0.82 mg/g DW) (Hulshof et al., 1997Hulshof, P. J. M., Xu, C., van de Bovenkamp, P., Muhilal, & West, C. E. (1997). Application of a validated method for the determination of provitamin carotenoids in Indonesian foods of different maturity and origin. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 45(4), 1174-1179. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jf9603137.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jf9603137...
). Therefore, the mixtures based on quelites are an economic proposal for supplementation processes, incorporating some pigments especially carotenoids into the diet, which are characterized by their high antioxidant capacity that protects the cells from highly oxidizing radicals and singlet oxygen (Oroian & Escriche, 2015Oroian, M., & Escriche, I. (2015). Antioxidants: characterization, natural sources, extraction and analysis. Food Research International, 74, 10-36. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2015.04.018. PMid:28411973.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2015...
).

Table 4
Carotenoids, chlorophyll, total phenols and total flavonoids content and antioxidant capacity by DPPH, ABTS and FRAP assays in three optimized mixtures based on Mexican quelites leaves.

Phenolic compounds are plant secondary metabolites with an important role in human diet, due to their antioxidant capacity and free radical scavenging; they also have an indirect effect by protecting endogenous human enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase, catalase or glutathione peroxidase (Oroian & Escriche, 2015Oroian, M., & Escriche, I. (2015). Antioxidants: characterization, natural sources, extraction and analysis. Food Research International, 74, 10-36. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2015.04.018. PMid:28411973.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2015...
). Regarding to the phenolic content, we found that OP2 has a significant concentration of total phenols, while OP1 has a greater total flavonoids concentration (Table 4). It has been reported that quelites are a good source for these bioactive compounds, especially the quelite cenizo, when compared to the others (Santiago-Saenz et al., 2018Santiago-Saenz, Y. O., Hernández-Fuentes, A. D., Monroy-Torres, R., Cariño-Cortés, R., & Jiménez-Alvarado, R. (2018). Physicochemical, nutritional and antioxidant characterization of three vegetables (Amaranthus hybridus L., Chenopodium berlandieri L., Portulaca oleracea L.) as potential sources of phytochemicals and bioactive compounds. Journal of Food Measurement and Characterization, 12(4), 2855-2864. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11694-018-9900-7.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11694-018-990...
; Santiago-Saenz et al., 2019Santiago-Saenz, Y. O., Hernández-Fuentes, A. D., López-Palestina, C. U., Garrido-Cauich, J. H., Alatorre-Cruz, J. M., & Monroy-Torres, R. (2019). Nutritional importance and biological activity of bioactive compounds from quelites consumed in Mexico. Revista Chilena de Nutrición, 46(5), 593-605. http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-75182019000500593.
http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-75182019...
). The phenolic content in the optimized samples was lower than that reported in a dietary supplement based on vegetables such as carrots, parsley, beet, kale, broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes, garlic, oat and spinach, which contained 50 mg of total phenols per g of powder (Bresciani et al., 2015Bresciani, L., Calani, L., Cossu, M., Mena, P., Sayegh, M., Ray, S., & Del Rio, D. (2015). (Poly) phenolic characterization of three food supplements containing 36 different fruits, vegetables and berries. PharmaNutrition, 3(2), 11-19. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phanu.2015.01.001.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phanu.2015.0...
). On the other hand, Wasek et al. (2015)Wasek, M., Giebułtowicz, J., Sochacka, M., Zawada, K., Modzelewska, W., Krześniak, L. M., & Wroczyński, P. (2015). The measurement of antioxidant capacity and polyphenol content in selected food supplements. Acta Poloniae Pharmaceutica, 72(5), 877-887. PMid:26665393., analyzed the phenolic content of 28 commercial dietary supplements based on fruits and vegetables and their results were found in a range of 0.132 to 378.52 mg GAE. The phenolic content present in quelites based mixtures is higher than 25 of the dietary supplements reported by Wasek et al. (2015)Wasek, M., Giebułtowicz, J., Sochacka, M., Zawada, K., Modzelewska, W., Krześniak, L. M., & Wroczyński, P. (2015). The measurement of antioxidant capacity and polyphenol content in selected food supplements. Acta Poloniae Pharmaceutica, 72(5), 877-887. PMid:26665393..

Chromatographic studies were carried out to identify the secondary metabolites in the optimized mixtures of Mexican quelites. Table 5 shows the phenolic acids present in the samples, these were gallic acid, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid and p-coumaric acid. Chlorogenic acid was the most abundant phenolic acid in the samples, especially in the OP2 mixture. According to the results of Table 5, the identified flavonoids were the following: rutin, phloridzin, myricetin, quercetin, naringenin, phloretin and galangin, except for OP2, where myricetin, naringenin and phloretin were not identified. Meanwhile OP3, did not show the presence of myricetin and galangin. On the other hand, in the OP1 and OP3 samples the flavonoid with the highest concentration was phloridzin. These two samples have in common the presence of quelite cenizo with respect to OP2 which does not included it. It could therefore be said, that the quelite cenizo is responsible for the presence of phloridzin in samples OP1 and OP3. These results are consistent with the literature where it is mentioned that the quelite cenizo is high in phloridzin in comparison with quintonil and purslane (Santiago-Saenz et al., 2018Santiago-Saenz, Y. O., Hernández-Fuentes, A. D., Monroy-Torres, R., Cariño-Cortés, R., & Jiménez-Alvarado, R. (2018). Physicochemical, nutritional and antioxidant characterization of three vegetables (Amaranthus hybridus L., Chenopodium berlandieri L., Portulaca oleracea L.) as potential sources of phytochemicals and bioactive compounds. Journal of Food Measurement and Characterization, 12(4), 2855-2864. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11694-018-9900-7.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11694-018-990...
). Other important flavonoids regarding their concentration in the samples were phloretin, myricetin and naringenin. It is important to indicate that the concentration of phenols is higher than that quantified by HPLC, this may be due to the overestimation of these compounds when they are identified by colorimetry, in the specific case of total phenols the Folin reagent does not react exclusively with phenols, also with other components as ascorbic acid, aromatic amines and carbohydrates (Khoddami et al., 2013Khoddami, A., Wilkes, M. A., & Roberts, T. H. (2013). Techniques for analysis of plant phenolic compounds. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 18(2), 2328-2375. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules18022328. PMid:23429347.
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules18022...
). On the other hand, it may also be due to the presence of other phenolic compounds present in the samples; but that were not identified, because the standards were not available. The presence of these secondary metabolites impact on the antioxidant activity of the mixtures of quelites. Particularly rutin, quercetin, galangin and catechin that are flavonoids that have been shown to be excellent antioxidants in vitro and in vivo mainly when chelating metal ions such as Cu, Fe and Zn (Malesev & Kuntic, 2007Malesev, D., & Kuntic, V. (2007). Investigation of metal-flavonoid chelates and the determination of flavonoids via metal-flavonoid complexing reactions. Journal of the Serbian Chemical Society, 72(10), 921-939. http://dx.doi.org/10.2298/JSC0710921M.
http://dx.doi.org/10.2298/JSC0710921M...
; Cherrak et al., 2016Cherrak, S. A., Mokhtari-Soulimane, N., Berroukeche, F., Bensenane, B., Cherbonnel, A., Merzouk, H., & Elhabiri, M. (2016). In vitro antioxidant versus metal ion chelating properties of flavonoids: A structure-activity investigation. PLoS One, 11(10), e0165575. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0165575. PMid:27788249.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0...
). Likewise, amino acids such as Glu, Asp and Lys possess the ability to chelate metal ions and therefore act as antioxidant peptides (Wang et al., 2009Wang, T., Jonsdottir, R., & Ólafsdóttir, G. (2009). Total phenolic compounds, radical scavenging and metal chelation of extracts from Icelandic seaweeds. Food Chemistry, 116(1), 240-248. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2009.02.041.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.200...
). On the other hand, the analysis of phenolic compounds by HPLC and the amino acid profile shows that mixtures based on quelites have important concentrations of these antioxidant compounds, which can be included in the diet and have effects on the health of consumers. Bresciani et al. (2017)Bresciani, L., Martini, D., Mena, P., Tassotti, M., Calani, L., Brigati, G., Brighenti, F., Holasek, S., Malliga, D.-E., Lamprecht, M., & Del Rio, D. (2017). Absorption profile of (poly) phenolic compounds after consumption of three food supplements containing 36 different fruits, vegetables, and berries. Nutrients, 9(3), 194. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu9030194. PMid:28245627.
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu9030194...
, showed that the consumption of three capsules per day of 750 mg of powder based on a mixture of 36 fruits and vegetables high in polyphenols allowed the effective absorption of phenolic compounds in human plasma.

Table 5
Identification of phenolic compounds (mg/g DW) by HPLC in three optimized mixtures based on Mexican quelites leaves.

3.3 Antioxidant activity

Recently, antioxidants from natural sources and their benefits to human health have received much attention. Many medicine compositions are based on antioxidants in order to prevent and treat several complex diseases. Plants are a very good natural source of antioxidants, since they produce a wide variety of secondary metabolites with antioxidant capacities and elevated therapeutic activities (Oroian & Escriche, 2015Oroian, M., & Escriche, I. (2015). Antioxidants: characterization, natural sources, extraction and analysis. Food Research International, 74, 10-36. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2015.04.018. PMid:28411973.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2015...
). Table 4 shows the results from the DPPH, ABTS and FRAP assays, indicating the antioxidant characteristics of each quelites-based optimized sample. Our results show that the antioxidant capacities of the samples are as follows: OP1 > OP2 > OP3. The greater antioxidant capacity of OP1 respect to OP3 is due to the lower concentration of bioactive compounds in OP3 such as carotenoids, chlorophyll, phenolic acids and flavonoids. These compounds can interfere with oxidative cycles, inhibiting or retarding the oxidative damage in the cells (Oroian & Escriche, 2015Oroian, M., & Escriche, I. (2015). Antioxidants: characterization, natural sources, extraction and analysis. Food Research International, 74, 10-36. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2015.04.018. PMid:28411973.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2015...
). Therefore, these bioactive compounds are responsible for the antioxidant activity shown by the optimized samples. On the other hand, the values of the antioxidant activity of the mixtures are similar or even higher to different commercial dietary supplements based on vegetables and fruits (Wasek et al., 2015Wasek, M., Giebułtowicz, J., Sochacka, M., Zawada, K., Modzelewska, W., Krześniak, L. M., & Wroczyński, P. (2015). The measurement of antioxidant capacity and polyphenol content in selected food supplements. Acta Poloniae Pharmaceutica, 72(5), 877-887. PMid:26665393.).

4 Conclusion

The combination of the Mexican quelites leaves resulted in an improvement in the nutritional and functional properties of the powder mixtures. The OP1 mixture prepared with Portulaca oleracea L. and Chenopodium berlandieri L. (1:1) has the highest content of antioxidant compound: total carotenoids, chlorophyll and phenolic compounds as phloridzin and chlorogenic acid, as well as macroelements and amino acids. Meanwhile, the highest content of microelements and macronutrients (protein and dietary fiber) were found in the OP3 mixture. The best mixture was OP1, which had numerous nutrient properties. Therefore, the selection and analysis of the formulations is important as their collective properties can be enhanced, compared to their individual properties, when combined and can be potential sources of nutritive compounds and at the same time provide an alternative to improve the nutritional status of the populations if incorporated as food supplements.

Acknowledgements

Authors thank to Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT), to Departamento de Ciencia y Tecnología de los alimentos del Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán (INCMNSZ) and to Observatorio Universitario de Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutricional del Estado de Guanajuato (OUSANEG).

  • Practical Application: Quelites as alternative ingredients for food and dietary supplement industry.

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Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    29 May 2020
  • Date of issue
    Oct-Dec 2020

History

  • Received
    08 Oct 2019
  • Accepted
    20 Nov 2019
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