Phenolic antioxidants identified by ESI-MS from Yerba maté (Ilex paraguariensis) and green tea (Camelia sinensis) extracts

Molecules. 2007 Mar 12;12(3):423-32. doi: 10.3390/12030423.


Aqueous extracts of green yerba maté (Ilex paraguariensis) and green tea (Camellia sinensis) are good sources of phenolic antioxidants, as already described in the literature. The subject of this study were organic extracts from yerba maté, both green and roasted, and from green tea. Their phenolic profiles were characterized by direct infusion electrospray insertion mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) and their free radical scavenging activity was determined by the DPPH assay. Organic extracts containing phenolic antioxidants might be used as natural antioxidants by the food industry, replacing the synthetic phenolic additives used nowadays. Ethanolic and aqueous extracts from green yerba maté, roasted yerba maté and green tea showed excellent DPPH scavenging activity (>89%). The ether extracts from green and roasted yerba maté displayed a weak scavenging activity, different from the behavior observed for the green tea ether extract. The main phenolic compounds identified in green yerba maté water and ethanolic extracts were: caffeic acid, quinic acid, caffeoyl glucose, caffeoylquinic acid, feruloylquinic acid, dicaffeoylquinic acid and rutin. After the roasting process two new compounds were formed: caffeoylshikimic acid and dicaffeoylshikimic acid. The ethanolic extracts from yerba maté, both roasted and green, with lower content of phenolic compounds (3.80 and 2.83 mg/mL) presented high antioxidant activity and even at very low phenolic concentrations, ether extract from GT (0.07 mg/mL) inhibited DPPH over 90%.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / isolation & purification*
  • Camellia sinensis / chemistry*
  • Free Radical Scavengers / metabolism
  • Ilex paraguariensis / chemistry*
  • Phenols / isolation & purification*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization*


  • Antioxidants
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Phenols
  • Plant Extracts