Chia seeds (Salvia hispanica) were analyzed for total phenolic compounds, antioxidant activity, and quantification of phenolic acids and isoflavones by ultra high performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC), in order to obtain a phenolic phytochemical profile. The total phenolic concentration was 1.8-fold higher than previous reports and the antioxidant activity using DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) radical assay showed 68.83% inhibition, which was higher than the values reported previously for chia and different plant foods. Additionally, a simple, reproducible and rapid UHPLC method was proposed for the analysis of phenolic acids and isoflavones in chia. The method demonstrated to perform well with regard to linearity, limits of detection and quantification, precision, accuracy, and sensitivity. The detection limits ranged from 0.05 to 0.4ng/mL and the recovery percentage from 23.62 to 162.48%. With this method the major compounds identified and quantified were: rosmarinic acid 0.92, protocatechuic ethyl ester 0.74, caffeic acid 0.02, gallic acid 0.01, and daidzin 0.006mg/g seed. In brief, this study demonstrates that chia could be considered a seed with high antioxidant capacity and novel isoflavone source that can be incorporated in human diet.
Keywords: Antioxidant activity; DPPH technique; Mesoamerican seed; Phenolic compounds; UHPLC.
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