Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences

Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences
Open Access

ISSN: 2155-9600


Carotenoids, Phenolic Compounds and Antioxidant Capacity of Five Local Italian Corn (Zea Mays L.) Kernels

Bacchetti T, Masciangelo S, Micheletti A and Ferretti G

Pigmented corn contains several bioactive phytonutrients that possess many biological activities, such as antioxidant, anticancer and anti-inflammation properties. In this study, the content of major nutrients (carbohydrates, fats and protein and fiber), carotenoids and phenolics, were determined for the first time in whole kernels of 5 different pigmented corn genotypes included in the regional register of biodiversity of Marche (Italy) managed by Agency for Food Service Industry in the Marche (ASSAM). In addition, the antioxidant activity was evaluated as radical scavenging activity using ORAC assay. The carotenoid compounds were characterised. Zeaxantin, the most abundant carotenoid was found in concentrations ranging between 176-218 μg/100 g. The β-carotene and lutein contents ranged from 27-39 μg/100 g and 23-49 μg/100 g, respectively. The highest content of polyphenols was found in corn Roccacontrada Rosso. All corn hydrophilic extracts inhibited significantly low density lipoprotein (LDL) peroxidation triggered by copper ions. These results suggest that corn varieties constitute a good source of natural antioxidant and could considered and functional food.