Profiling of Phenolic Compounds and Antioxidant Activity of 12 Cruciferous Vegetables

Molecules. 2018 May 10;23(5):1139. doi: 10.3390/molecules23051139.


The phenolic profiles of 12 cruciferous vegetables (pakchoi, choysum, Chinese cabbage, kailan, Brussels sprout, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, rocket salad, red cherry radish, daikon radish, and watercress) were studied with UHPLC-MS/MS. Antioxidant activity and total phenolic content (TPC) were also evaluated. A total of 74 phenolic compounds were identified, including 16 hydroxycinnamic acids and derivatives, and 58 flavonoids and derivatives. The main flavonoids identified were glycosylated quercetin, kaempferol and isorhamnetin, and the main hydroxycinnamic acids were ferulic, sinapic, caffeic and p-coumaric acids. Principal component analysis (PCA) revealed that the distribution of phenolic compounds in different genera of cruciferous vegetables was in accordance with their conventional taxonomy. The DPPH, ORAC and TPC values ranged from 1.11 to 9.54 µmoles Trolox equivalent/g FW, 5.34 to 32.92 µmoles Trolox equivalent/g FW, and 0.16 to 1.93 mg gallic acid equivalent/g FW respectively. Spearman’s correlation showed significant (p < 0.05) positive correlations between TPC, flavonoids and antioxidant activity.

Keywords: Brassicaceae vegetables; UHPLC-MS/MS; antioxidant activity; cruciferous vegetables; phenolic compounds; principal component analysis.

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Biphenyl Compounds / chemistry
  • Free Radical Scavengers / chemistry
  • Phenols / analysis*
  • Picrates / chemistry
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Vegetables / chemistry*


  • Antioxidants
  • Biphenyl Compounds
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Phenols
  • Picrates
  • 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl