Onion is the most widely cultivated vegetable around the world. In this study, the isolation, concentration, quantification, and bioactivity evaluation of the phenolics in onion peels were investigated. Thirty-four phenolics, including 17 flavonoids and 17 nonflavonoid phenolics, were purified and identified. Among them, there were 2 new unusual epoxyflavanones and a new phenolic constituent, as well as 13 unreported constituents from the genus Allium. The total flavonoids were concentrated, and finally obtained 90.25% of flavonoid content extract. Fifteen main flavonoids were quantified using an ultra-performance liquid chromatography-photodiode array (UPLC-PDA), and quercetin (36.94%) and quercetin 4'-O-β-d-glucopyranoside (15.81%) were the richest contents of flavonoids. The antioxidant and anti-neuroinflammatory capacities were evaluated, and the bioactive results indicated that the flavonoids in onion exhibited pronounced activities. The study suggested that the flavonoids in onion peels could be used in functional food.
Keywords: anti-neuroinflammatory; antioxidant; concentration; flavonoids; onion; quantification.