Antioxidant properties of selected culinary spices
Introduction: Seasonings added to food enhance its flavor and texture. Some of them can also extend their shelf-lives thanks to the presence of antioxidant compounds. Objective: The aim of the study was to investigate twenty eight commercially available spices for the total phenolic contents and antioxidant activity. Methods: Total phenols were estimated according to the Folin-Ciocalteu method. Antioxidant activities of the extracts were determined with DPPH assay. Results: Our results showed that the most of analysed spices are rich in phenolic compounds and demonstrate good antioxidant activity. The total polyphenol content oscillated around 0.9–155.1 mg GAE/g with the lowest value for sesame and the highest for cinnamon. The DPPH radical scavenging ability expressed as % ranged from 4.1% for sesame to 94.9% for cloves. Moreover, a moderate correlation (r=0.63, p<0.05) was reported between antioxidant activity and total phenolics, revealing that phenolic compounds are the important antioxidant components in the examined spices. Conclusion: The study shows also that a lot of spices can serve as food preservatives and, at the same time, have a beneficial effect on human health.