Snow chrysanthemum (Coreopsis tinctoria Nutt.), a world-widely well-known flower tea material, has attracted more and more attention because of its beneficial health effects such as antioxidant activity and special flavor. In this study, a high performance liquid chromatography coupled with diode array detection and mass spectrometry (HPLC-DAD-MS) and 2,2'-azinobis(3-ethylbenzthiazoline-sulfonic acid)diammonium salt (ABTS) based assay was employed for comparison and identification of antioxidants in different samples of snow chrysanthemum. The results showed that snow chrysanthemum flowers possessed the highest while stems presented the lowest antioxidant capacities. Fourteen detected peaks with antioxidant activity were temporarily identified as 3,4',5,6,7-pentahydroxyflavanone-O-hexoside, chlorogenic acid, 2R-3',4',8-trihydroxyflavanone-7-O-glucoside, flavanomarein, flavanocorepsin, flavanokanin, quercetagitin-7-O-glucoside, 3',5,5',7-tetrahydroxyflavanone-O-hexoside, marein, maritimein, 1,3-dicaffeoylquinic acid, coreopsin, okanin and acetyl-marein by comparing their UV spectra, retention times and MS data with standards or literature data. Antioxidants existed in snow chrysanthemum are quite different from those reported in Chrysanthemum morifolium, a well-known traditional beverage in China, which indicated that snow chrysanthemum may be a promising herbal tea material with obvious antioxidant activity.
Keywords: Antioxidant activity; Coreopsis tinctoria; HPLC; Online ABTS-based assay.
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