Phenolic Compounds and Antioxidant Potential of Nigerian Red Palm Oil (Elaeis Guineensis)

  •  Sunday Atawodi    
  •  Lazarus Yusufu    
  •  Joy Atawodi    
  •  Oiza Asuku    
  •  Ojochenemi Yakubu    


Polyphenols have been shown in both in vitro and in vivo experiments to induce responses that are consistent
with the protective effects of diets rich in fruits and vegetables against degenerative conditions such as
cardiovascular disorders and cancer. Red palm oil, extracted from the fruit mesocarp of Elaeis guineensis is very
important in the diet of many Nigerians, and indeed many citizens of developing countries living around the
tropics. It contains antioxidant components such as carotenoids (alpha, beta, and gamma carotenes) and vitamin
E (tocophorols and tocotrienols), which are of known nutritional and health benefits, but the antioxidant
polyphenol contents of this oil is not fully explored. To assess the total antioxidant potential due partly to the
scavenging of reactive oxygen specie (ROS) and the inhibition of the enzyme, xanthine oxidase, the
hypoxanthine/xanthine oxidase assay system and the 2-deoxyguanosine-assay model were utilized. These
revealed that the oil possesses promising antioxidant and radical scavenging activities with IC50 values of 95 ?M
and 219 ?M for the hypoxanthine/xanthine oxidase and 2-deoxyguanosine assays, respectively.
Liquid-Chromatography with Electrospray – Ionization Mass Spectrometry (LC-ESI) showed the presence of the
antioxidant, 3,4 hydroxybenzyaldehyde, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, vanillic acid, syringic acid and ferulic acid in
the red palm oil. Thus, in addition to antioxidant compounds like carotenoids, and vitamin E, the red palm oil
also contains a rich mixture of phenolic compounds with potent antioxidant and radical scavenging capacities
that might also account significantly for its widely reported capacity to modulate stress-related disorders.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1916-9671
  • ISSN(Online): 1916-968X
  • Started: 2009
  • Frequency: semiannual

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