Polyphenol and flavonoid profiles and radical scavenging activity in leafy vegetable Amaranthus gangeticus

BMC Plant Biol. 2020 Nov 2;20(1):499. doi: 10.1186/s12870-020-02700-0.


Background: Red amaranth (Amaranthus gangeticus L.) has great diversity in Bangladesh, India, and South East Asia with multipurpose uses. The bright red-violet colored A. gangeticus is a popular and low-cost leafy vegetable in the Asian continent including Bangladesh and India because of attractive leaf color, taste, adequate nutraceuticals, phenolic compounds, and sole source of betalains. The natural colors and phenolic compounds of this species have a significant role in promoting the health-benefit including the scavenging capacity of radicals, the colorant of food products, and play a vital role in the industry of foods. However, phenolic profiles and radical scavenging activity of this species have not been evaluated. Hence, for the first time, four selected advance lines of A. gangeticus were characterized for phenolic profiles, antioxidant constituents, and antioxidant potentiality.

Results: A. gangeticus genotypes are abundant sources of phenolic profiles and antioxidant constituents with good radical quenching capacity that differed across the genotypes. Twenty-five phenolic acids and flavonoids, such as protocatechuic acid, salicylic acid, gentisic acid, gallic acid, β-resorcylic acid, vanillic acid, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, chlorogenic acid, ellagic acid, syringic acid, ferulic acid, kaempferol, m-coumaric acid, trans-cinnamic acid, quercetin, p-coumaric acid, apigenin, caffeic acid, rutin, sinapic acid, isoquercetin, naringenin, myricetin, catechin, and hyperoside were identified in A. gangeticus accessions. A. gangeticus accessions LS7 and LS9 demonstrated ample phenolic acids, flavonoids, antioxidant constituents, and antioxidant potentiality. It revealed from the correlation study that antioxidant components of A. gangeticus genotypes exhibited good radical scavenging activities. The genotypes LS7 and LS9 could be directly used as phenolic profiles, antioxidant constituents, and antioxidant activity enrich cultivars.

Conclusions: The identified compounds of phenolic acids and flavonoids in A. gangeticus privilege the comprehensive study of pharmacology. The basic information on phenolic profiles and antioxidant constituents achieved in the present study will provide the scientist's forum for the scientific assessment of these compounds in A. gangeticus.

Keywords: A. gangeticus; Antioxidant activity; DPPH and ABTS assays; Flavonoids; HPLC-UV; LC-MS-ESI; Phenolic profiles.

MeSH terms

  • Amaranthus / chemistry
  • Amaranthus / metabolism*
  • Antioxidants / analysis
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Flavonoids / analysis
  • Flavonoids / metabolism*
  • Free Radical Scavengers / analysis
  • Free Radical Scavengers / metabolism
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Plant Leaves / metabolism*
  • Polyphenols / analysis
  • Polyphenols / metabolism*


  • Antioxidants
  • Flavonoids
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Polyphenols