March 11/Food & Farm Week -- "Collard greens, mustard greens, kale, okra, green onion, butter beans, butter peas, purple hull peas, rutabagas and eggplant are frequently consumed by African Americans in the southeast U.S.," explain researchers from Tuskegee University. "Sweet potato greens and purslane are two novel vegetables in this region," they report.
"The objective of this study was to analyze total phenolics and antioxidant capacity in these indigenous vegetables. The total phenolic content was analyzed using the Folin-Ciocalteu method and ranged from 7.4-53.5mg gallic acid equivalents per gram of dried sample. The antioxidant capacity was analyzed using the radical DPPH scavenging capacity assay and oxygen radical absorbance capacity assay (ORAC). At a concentration of 10.0mg dried vegetable equivalent/ml, the extract of these vegetables was able to quench 13.2-88.5% DPPH radical in 30 minutes. The ORAC value ranged from 2.5-100.7 moles of trolox equivalents per gram of dried sample. The antioxidant capacity of the vegetable samples was highly related to their total phenolic content. The results suggest that these indigenous vegetables consumed by African Americans in the southeastern U.S. are good sources of the phenolic compounds, which might provide anti-oxidative protection against free radicals in the human body," wrote Z.L. Huang and colleagues, Tuskegee University.
The researchers concluded, "Consumption of these vegetables might reduce the risk of chronic diseases."
Huang and colleagues published their study in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition ("Total phenolics and antioxidant capacity of indigenous vegetables in the southeast United States: Alabama Collaboration for Cardiovascular Equality Project." International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, 2009;60(2):100-108).
For additional information, contact B.W. Wang, Tuskegee University, Dept. of Food & Nutrition Science, 204G Campbell Hall, Tuskegee, AL 36088.
From the March 16, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition