Cooking techniques improve the levels of bioactive compounds and antioxidant activity in kale and red cabbage

Food Chem. 2016 Apr 1;196:1101-7. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2015.10.037. Epub 2015 Oct 22.


The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of different home cooking techniques (boiling, steaming, and stir-frying) in kale and red cabbage, on the levels of bioactive compounds (carotenoids, anthocyanins and phenolic compounds) determined by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with photodiode array and mass spectrometry detectors (HPLC-DAD-MS(n)), and on the antioxidant activity evaluated by ABTS, ORAC and cellular antioxidant activity (CAA) assays. The steaming technique resulted in a significant increase in phenolic content in kale (86.1%; p<0.001) whereas in red cabbage it was significantly reduced (34.6%; p<0.001). In the kale, steaming resulted in significant increases in antioxidant activity levels in all of the evaluation methods. In the red cabbage, boiling resulted in a significant increase in antioxidant activity using the ABTS assay but resulted in a significant decrease using the ORAC assay. According to the CAA assay, the stir-fried sample displayed the highest levels of antioxidant activity.

Keywords: Anthocyanins; Antioxidant activity; Carotenoids; Cooked vegetable; Cooking technique; Phenolic compounds.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anthocyanins / analysis*
  • Antioxidants / analysis
  • Brassica / chemistry*
  • Carotenoids / analysis*
  • Cooking / methods*
  • Phenols / analysis*


  • Anthocyanins
  • Antioxidants
  • Phenols
  • Carotenoids