Antioxidant activity and phenolic composition of wild, edible, and medicinal fennel from different Mediterranean countries

J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Mar 26;56(6):1912-20. doi: 10.1021/jf073083c. Epub 2008 Feb 27.


Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.) is a typical aromatic plant of the Mediterranean area, long used as a medicinal and spice herb. Fennel is also well-known for its essential oil, which has been extensively studied for many years owing to its commercial importance. In this work, the antioxidant activity and the total phenolic and flavonoid contents, as well as the quantitative determination of individual flavonoids and phenolic acids of wild, edible, and medicinal fennel from different Mediterranean countries, have been determined. The antioxidant activity was measured as the free radical (DPPH), hydroxyl radical, and superoxide anion scavenging activities. Wild fennel was found to exhibit a radical scavenging activity, as well as a total phenolic and total flavonoid content, higher than those of both medicinal and edible fennels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Biphenyl Compounds
  • Flavonoids / analysis
  • Foeniculum / chemistry*
  • Free Radical Scavengers / pharmacology
  • Hydroxyl Radical
  • Mediterranean Region
  • Phenols / analysis*
  • Picrates
  • Plants, Medicinal / chemistry
  • Superoxides


  • Antioxidants
  • Biphenyl Compounds
  • Flavonoids
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Phenols
  • Picrates
  • Superoxides
  • Hydroxyl Radical
  • 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl