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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Corvallis, Oregon » Horticultural Crops Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #250435

Title: Caffeic Acid Derivatives in Dried Lamiaceae and Echinacea purpurea Products

item Lee, Jungmin

Submitted to: Journal of Functional Foods
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/3/2010
Publication Date: 5/25/2010
Citation: Lee, J. 2010. Caffeic acid derivatives in dried Lamiaceae and Echinacea purpurea products. Journal of Functional Foods. 2:158-162.

Interpretive Summary: This paper is a follow up to our recent identification of chicoric acid in fresh basil leaves. Chicoric acid is the main phenolic found in Echinacea purpurea. Its extracts and capsules are popular dietary supplements in the United States, marketed for many potential health benefits, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunostimulating properties. We previously reported that in fresh basil leaves chicoric acid was the second most abundant phenolic, after rosmarinic acid. This current work reports on chicoric acid concentrations in the dried form of basil and lemon balm herb, commonly found in the marketplace.

Technical Abstract: The concentrations of caffeic acid derivatives within Lamiaceae and Echinacea (herb, spice, tea, and dietary supplement forms) readily available in the U.S. marketplace (n=72) were determined. After the first identification of chicoric acid in Ocimum basilicum (basil), the extent to which chicoric acid could be found within the family Lamiaceae was investigated. The dominant phenolic acid in all Lamiaceae samples was rosmarinic acid, which ranged from 2.04 mg /100g (one of twelve oregano samples) to 622.28 mg /100g (lemon balm). Of the herbs tested in this study (marjoram, oregano, peppermint, rosemary, sage, spearmint, and thyme from the family Lamiaceae), only basil and lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) contained chicoric acid. Basil samples (starting material and resulting end product) obtained from an industry cooperator, showed substantial phenolic deficiency as a result of processing (approximately 78% loss).