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Anthocyanins from a variety of fruits and vegetables have been shown to possess potent antioxidant activity in vitro, but scavenging of free radicals by anthocyanins has only been demonstrated in situ in the leaves of certain plants. We report on a new sweetpotato that exhibits mottled purple flesh attributable to high concentrations of anthocyanins. By perfusing transverse sweetpotato sections with the reactive oxygen species H(2)O(2), followed by the H(2)O(2) sensitive fluorochrome scopletin, we show that anthocyanins act as antioxidants in situ within the sweetpotato storage roots. We also demonstrate in vitro antioxidant activity by sweetpotato anthocyanins, where an additive effect with hydroxycinnamic acids is observed. Anthocyanic foods have been shown to offer protection against a variety of degenerative disease processes. Given that sweetpotato can be eaten several hundred grams at a time and as a staple, these data are consistent with the possibility of superior health protection by anthocyanic varieties of sweetpotato in comparison to most common fruits and vegetables.

Original publication

DOI

10.1021/jf034593j

Type

Journal article

Journal

Journal of agricultural and food chemistry

Publication Date

03/2004

Volume

52

Pages

1511 - 1513

Addresses

Discipline of Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, and School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand. m.philopott@auckland.ac.nz

Keywords

Ipomoea batatas, Plant Roots, Hydrogen Peroxide, Anthocyanins, Antioxidants