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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Innovative Genetic Approaches for Improving Maize Germplasm for Product Quality and Adaption to Diverse Production Systems

Location: Corn Insects and Crop Genetics Research

Title: Anthocyanins, phenolic compounds, and antioxidant activity in waxy corn germplasm

Authors
item Harakotr, B -
item Suriham, B -
item Tangwongchai, R -
item Scott, Marvin
item Lertrat, K -

Submitted to: Journal of Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 14, 2014
Publication Date: May 21, 2014
Citation: Harakotr, B., Suriham, B., Tangwongchai, R., Scott, M.P., Lertrat, K. 2014. Anthocyanins, phenolic compounds, and antioxidant activity in waxy corn germplasm. Journal of Food Chemistry. 164:510-517.

Interpretive Summary: Antioxidants are nutritionally beneficial compounds in many foods. We compared different methods of preparing fresh corn with respect to their effect on antioxidant content. We found that steaming is better than boiling and leaving kernels on the cob is better than removing them from the cob in terms of the level of antioxidants retained in the final food product. The cooking water used to prepare blue corn is a rich source of antioxidant and may be a valuable co-product of corn preparation. The results of this study indicate how to prepare fresh corn with optimal nutritional quality.

Technical Abstract: Antioxidant components, including anthocyanins and phenolic compounds, antioxidant activity, and their changes during traditional cooking of fresh purple waxy corn were investigated. As compared to the raw corn, thermal treatment caused significant (p < 0.05) decreases in each antioxidant compound and antioxidant activity. Steam cooking preserved more antioxidant compounds than boiling. Boiling caused a significant loss of anthocyanin and phenolic compounds into the cooking water. This cooking water is a valuable co-product because it is a good source of purple pigment. By comparing levels of antioxidant compounds in raw and cooked corn, we determined that degradation results in greater loss than leaching or diffusion into cooking water. Additionally, separation of kernels from the cob prior to cooking caused increased loss of antioxidant compounds.

Last Modified: 11/28/2014
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