Background: Parsley leaf is a rich source of natural antioxidants, which serve a lot of functions in human body and prevent food from oxidation processes. The aim of the study was to investigate the influence of different extraction solvents and times of extraction on natural antioxidants content. Owing to the knowledge of the properties of extracted components and solvents, as well as their interactions, it is possible to achieve a high effectiveness of active compounds recovery.
Material and methods: Three different extraction solvents (acetone 70% in water, methanol 80% in water and distilled water) and different times of extraction (30 and 60 minutes) were used to determine the efficiency of extraction of polyphenols and catechins, antioxidant activity against free radicals DPPH and ABTS and the ability to chelate ion Fe(2+) in dried parsley leaves. Other natural antioxidants contents in parsley leaves were also determined.
Results and discussion: In this study the best extraction solvent for polyphenols was acetone 70% and for catechins was distilled water. All extracts examined displayed the antioxidative activity, but water was the best solvent in the method of assaying the activity against ABTS(•+) and Fe(2+) ions chelating capability, whereas methanol turned out to be the least effective in this respect. Opposite results were observed in the case of determining the activity against DPPH(•). The prolongation of the extraction time enhanced or decreased antiradical activity in some cases. Additionally, important biologically active compounds in parsley leaves, such as vitamin C (248.31 mg/100 g dry matter), carotenoids (31.28 mg/100 g dry matter), chlorophyll (0.185 mg/g dry matter) were also analysed.