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Electrochemical and Spectrophotometric Methods for Polyphenol and Ascorbic Acid Determination in Fruit and Vegetable Extracts

Fiorella Tulli1*§orcid tiny, María Laura Lemos2,3§orcid tiny, Diego R. Gutiérrez2,3orcid tiny, Silvia del C. Rodríguez2,3orcid tiny, Beatriz A. López de Mishima1orcid tiny and Verónica I. Paz Zanini1*orcid tiny

1NOA Institute of Bionanotechnology (INBIONATEC), CONICET, National University of Santiago del Estero (UNSE), RN9, Km 1125, G4206XCP Santiago del Estero, Argentina

2Research Center in Applied Biophysics and Food (CIBAAL), CONICET, National University of Santiago del Estero (UNSE), RN 9, Km 1125, G4206XCP Santiago del Estero, Argentina

3Institute of Food Science and Technology (ICyTA), Faculty of Agronomy and Agroindustry National University of Santiago del Estero-Argentina, Av. Belgrano (S) 1912, G4206XCP Santiago del Estero, Argentina.

Article history:

Received: 4 December 2019

Accepted: 23 June 2020

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Key words:

electrochemical and spectrophotometric method comparison, green leafy vegetables, eggplant, carrots, ascorbic acid and polyphenols


Research background. Fresh-cut fruits and vegetables are considered sources of antioxidant compounds. However, their shelf life is limited due to nutritional, quality and safety deterioration. Therefore, in recent decades, various methods have been reported for food processing and preservation, as well as for the determination of antioxidant compounds, due to their many benefits when consumed. The aim of the present work is to compare the performance of electrochemical and spectrophotometric methods in the analysis of the content of polyphenolic compounds and ascorbic acid in extracts from fruits (eggplant), edible roots (carrot) and leaves (rocket, lettuce and chard), and evaluate their capability to detect small changes in the antioxidant content in the eggplant extracts previously irradiated with different UV-C light intensities.

Experimental approach. Polyphenolic compounds and ascorbic acid were determined by electrochemical and spectrophotometric methods. An enzymatic biosensor and a nanocomposite sensor were used for polyphenolic compounds and ascorbic acid, respectively, in electrochemical measurements, while Folin-Ciocalteu and Kampfenkel methods were used for spectrophotometric measurements.

Results and conclusions. Results obtained through the different methodologies were comparable and consistent with each other. Both methods allowed determining the content of ascorbic acid and polyphenolic compounds in the fruit and vegetable extracts. Moreover, both techniques enable the detection of the analyte concentration changes in samples exposed to different UV-C intensities and storage days. Finally, it was observed that the antioxidant capacity depends on the type of food, treatment and storage period.

Novelty and scientific contribution. Both methodologies were suitable for the quantification of analytes; however, the electrochemical sensors provided higher specificity and selectivity, applicable to different fruit and vegetable matrices, obtaining results with higher precision, in shorter time and with a smaller sample volume, minimizing the economic costs because of the lower consumption of reagents.

*Corresponding author: +543854509500

§Both authors contributed equally to this work

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