Changes in the flavonoid and phenolic acid contents and antioxidant activity of red leaf lettuce (Lollo Rosso) due to cultivation under plastic films varying in ultraviolet transparency
Garcia-Macias, P., Ordidge, M., Vysini, E., Waroonphan, S., Battey, N. H., Gordon, M. H., Hadley, P., John, P., Lovegrove, J. A. and Wagstaffe, A. (2007) Changes in the flavonoid and phenolic acid contents and antioxidant activity of red leaf lettuce (Lollo Rosso) due to cultivation under plastic films varying in ultraviolet transparency. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 55 (25). pp. 10168-10172. ISSN 0021-8561
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1021/jf071570m
Red leaf lettuce (Lollo Rosso) was grown under three types of plastic films that varied in transparency to UV radiation (designated as UV block, UV low, and UV window). Flavonoid composition was determined by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), total phenolics by the Folin-Ciocalteu assay, and antioxiclant capacity by the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) assay. Exposure to increased levels of UV radiation during cultivation caused the leaves to redden and increased concentrations of total phenols and the main flavonoids, quercetin and cyanidin glycosides, as well as luteolin conjugates and phenolic acids. The total phenol content increased from 1.6 mg of gallic acid equivalents (GAE)/g of fresh weight (FW) for lettuce grown under UV block film to 2.9 and 3.5 mg of GAE/g of FW for lettuce grown under the UV low and UV window films. The antioxiclant activity was also higher in lettuce exposed to higher levels of UV radiation with ORAC values of 25.4 and 55.1 mu mol of Trolox equivalents/g of FW for lettuce grown under the UV block and UV window films, respectively. The content of phenolic acids, quantified as caffeic acid, was also different, ranging from 6.2 to 11.1 mu mol/g of FW for lettuce cultivated under the lowest and highest UV exposure plastic films, respectively. Higher concentrations of the flavonoid glycosides were observed with increased exposure to UV radiation, as demonstrated by the concentrations of aglycones after hydrolysis, which were cyanidin (ranging from 165 to 793 mu g/g), quercetin (ranging from 196 to 880,mu g/g), and luteolin (ranging from 19 to 152 mu g/g). The results demonstrate the potential of the use of UV-transparent plastic as a means of increasing beneficial flavonoid content of red leaf lettuce when the crop is grown in polytunnels.