Yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis St. Hill.)-based beverages: How successive extraction influences the extract composition and its capacity to chelate iron and scavenge free radicals

Food Chem. 2016 Oct 15;209:185-95. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2016.04.059. Epub 2016 Apr 19.


Chimarrão or mate is a popular beverage from South America that is drank with successive infusions. Although yerba mate extracts have been widely studied, few studies have described the extract contents in beverages. Using yerba mate samples from Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay, we examined the extract chromatographic profiles, total polyphenol content and their capacities to chelate iron. In addition, we analyzed antioxidant activity by examining the ability of the extracts to scavenge DPPH and NO. Our results showed that the amount of extracted compound was highest in yerba mate extract from Uruguay, followed by Argentina, then Brazil. Herbs from all three areas had a significant capacity to inhibit DPPH and NO free radicals. The Brazilian and Uruguayan herbs had an 80% iron chelation capacity (p<0.001), while the iron chelation capacity of the Argentinean herb was lower but still significant (p⩽0.05). We conclude that the compound concentration decreases with successive extractions, while the antioxidant capacity is maintained at significant levels.

Keywords: HPLC; Mate; Methylxanthines; Phenolic compounds.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Argentina
  • Beverages / analysis*
  • Brazil
  • Chelating Agents / chemistry*
  • Chelating Agents / isolation & purification
  • Food Handling / methods*
  • Free Radical Scavengers / chemistry*
  • Free Radical Scavengers / isolation & purification*
  • Free Radicals / analysis
  • Ilex paraguariensis / chemistry
  • Iron / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification*
  • Polyphenols / chemistry
  • Polyphenols / isolation & purification


  • Chelating Agents
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Free Radicals
  • Plant Extracts
  • Polyphenols
  • Iron