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      The cupric ion reducing antioxidant capacity and polyphenolic content of some herbal teas.

      International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition

      Tungsten Compounds, analysis, Chelating Agents, Beverages, Copper, Flavonoids, Indicators and Reagents, Molybdenum, Phenanthrolines, Phenols, Plant Extracts, Polyphenols, Antioxidants

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          The total antioxidant capacity of the aqueous extracts of some endemic herbs-prepared as infusions by steeping these herbs in hot water--was assayed with bis(neocuproine)copper(II) chloride, also known as the cupric ion reducing antioxidant capacity (CUPRAC) reagent, which was easily accessible, rapid, stable and responsive to both hydrophilic and lipophilic antioxidants. The highest antioxidant capacities of some herbal teas available in the Turkish market were observed for scarlet pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis), sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum), green tea (Camellia sinensis) and lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), in this order (1.63, 1.18, 1.07, and 0.99 mmol trolox equivalent (TR)/g, respectively). For infusions prepared from ready-to-use tea bags, the CUPRAC values were highest for Ceylon blended ordinary tea (4.41), green tea with lemon (1.61), English breakfast ordinary tea (1.26) and green tea (0.94), all of which were manufactured types of C. sinensis. Following the strongest antioxidant herbs with capacities close to or slightly exceeding 1.0 mmol TR/g, sage, thyme, coriander, coltsfoot, blackberry and immortelle (Helichrysum) exhibited capacities around 0.5 mmol TR/g. The correlation of the Folin total phenolic content of herbal teas with their CUPRAC and ABTS (2,2'-azinobis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) diammonium salt) total antioxidant capacities gave linear curves with correlation coefficients of 0.966 and 0.936, respectively, showing that the CUPRAC assay results better correlated with total phenolic content of herbal teas. Absorbance versus concentration data at different dilutions and upon standard additions of model antioxidant compounds (trolox and quercetin) to herbal tea infusions showed that the absorbances (at 450 nm of the CUPRAC method) due to different antioxidant compounds in herbal tea infusions were additive; that is, the tested antioxidants did not chemically interact to cause apparent deviations from Beer's law.

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