Free radical scavenging activity of methanolic extract of some culinary herbs

A. Lugasi, E. Dworschák, J. Hóvári

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4 Citations (Scopus)


The scavenging effect of methanolic extracts of some culinary herbs on free radicals and active oxygen species was investigated. Dried culinary herbs - clove, marjoram, cinnamon, oregano and caraway - contain polyphenolic compounds in high concentration (17.7%, 11.2%, 5.8%, 5.2% and 1.3%, respectively). All spice extracts exerted markedly and increased reducing power with increasing dose. Clove showed the strongest reducing power, but lower than that of ascorbic acid at doses of 0.2-1.0 mg cm-3. There was observed a high linear correlation (r=0.9358) between the total phenolic content and reducing power of the spice. Spices showed marked activity as radical scavengers in the experiment using 1,1 - diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical, indicating that they have effective activities as hydrogen donors and primary antioxidants to react with lipid radicals. The highest DPPH radical scavenging activity was observed in case of clove. Methanolic extract of culinary herbs also possessed effectiveness in decrease of chemiluminescence intensity arisen in H2O2/luminol and adrenalin/luminol system, as well. In both experiments clove was the most effective in scavenging of H2O2 and superoxide (O2-). These results indicate that methanolic extract of spices are also scavengers of active oxygen species and they are secondary antioxidants. The reducing power and the scavenging effect on free radical and active oxygen species in connection with the total amount of polyphenolic compounds decreased in the following order clove>oregano>cinnamon = marjoram>caraway. The overall antioxidant effect of methanolic extracts of culinary herbs on lipid peroxidation might be attributed to their properties of scavenging free radicals and active oxygen species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-236
Number of pages10
JournalActa Alimentaria
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 1996


  • Active oxygen species
  • Antioxidant
  • Chemiluminescence
  • Culinary herbs
  • Free radicals
  • Polyphenolic compounds
  • Scavenger

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science

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