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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPROVED PROCESSES FOR CUCUMBERS, CABBAGE, SWEETPOTATOES, AND PEPPERS TO MAKE HIGH QUALITY, NUTRITIOUS PRODUCTS AND REDUCE POLLUTION

Location: Food Science Research

Title: Phytochemical changes in phenolics, anthocyanins, ascorbic acid, and carotenoids associated with sweetpotato storage and impacts on bioactive properties

Authors
item Grace, Mary -
item Yousef, Gad -
item Gustafson, Sally -
item Truong, Van-Den
item Yencho, G. Craig -
item Lila, Mary Ann -

Submitted to: Journal of Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 27, 2013
Publication Date: February 15, 2014
Citation: Grace, M.H., Yousef, G.G., Gustafson, S.J., Truong, V.D., Yencho, G., Lila, M. 2014. Phytochemical changes in phenolics, anthocyanins, ascorbic acid, and carotenoids associated with sweetpotato storage and impacts on bioactive properties. Journal of Food Chemistry. 145:717-724.

Interpretive Summary: Fruits and vegetables, including sweetpotatoes, are rich in beneficial phytochemicals, such as carotene, anthocyanins and other phenolic compounds. The phytochemical content can be affected by postharvest handling and storage. This study aimed to determine the effect of long-term storage on the phytochemical composition and anti-inflammatory potential of sweetpotatoes with varying flesh colors. Curing and storage for up to 8 months did not significantly affect total phenolic content while carotene content increased by 25-50% in the yellow- and orange-flesh varieties (Covington, Yellow Covington, and NC07-847). However, for the purple-fleshed variety (NCPUR06-020), phenolic content declined due to anthocyanin degradation during storage. Gradual changes in sweetpotato phytochemical content and antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capacity were noted during long-term storage, but the specific effects were genotype-dependent.

Technical Abstract: Sweetpotato phytochemical content was evaluated in four genotypes (NCPUR06-020, Covington, Yellow Covington, and NC07-847) at harvest and after curing/storage for 4 or 8 months. Curing and storage for up to 8 months did not significantly affect total phenolic content in Covington, Yellow Covington, and NC07-847, however for NCPUR06-020, a purple-fleshed selection, total phenolic content declined mainly due to anthocyanin degradation during storage. Covington had the highest carotenoid content at harvest time (281.9 ug/g DM), followed by NC07-847 (26.2 ug/g DM), and after 8 months, total carotenoids had increased by 25% and 50%, respectively. Antioxidant activity gradually declined during storage, and freshly harvested sweetpotatoes also demonstrated higher anti-inflammatory capacity as gauged by inhibition of lipopolysaccharide-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) in SH-SY5Y cells. Gradual changes in sweetpotato phytochemical content and antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capacity were noted during normal long-term storage, but the specific effects were genotype-dependent.

Last Modified: 4/18/2014
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