Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 22, 2001
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The cultivated eggplant is a species of considerable economic importance in many tropical and sub-tropical parts of the world. Consumption of eggplant is growing in the U.S. as ethnic diversity of urban areas increases and consumer health and diet related education expands. Eggplant is included among the top ten vegetables when ranked in terms of ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) value. This is attributed to the fruit's phenolic content. When consumed regularly in the human diet, the protective effects of phenol antioxidants may help to prevent diseases such as atherosclerosis and cancer. In eggplant, phenolic acids and anthocyanins comprise the principal dietary phenolics. We have evaluated phenolic acid content in eggplant fruit flesh of the USDA core collection. HPLC analysis of eggplant fruit extracts demonstrated that a number of phenylpropanoid phenolics were present in fruit flesh and that esters of caffeic acid were the most abundant. Our results also demonstrated variation for total phenolic acid content within fruit from blossom to stem end, with higher levels of phenolic acids typically present in the blossom end. Within the core collection, considerable variation for phenolic acid content was evident between eggplant accessions.