The present investigation seeks to compare the antioxidant activities of solvent extracted (methanol) and in vitro enzyme digested Bambara nut. Bambara nut was extracted with methanol and another portion was subjected to an in vitro human digestion model that stimulated the composition of the gastrointestinal tract. The HPLC-DAD phenolic analysis revealed the presence of some phenolic acids and flavonoids, with reduced levels of most of the identified compounds after cooking process. The result of the antioxidant indices (total phenol, total flavonoid, ferric reducing antioxidant power, ABTS and DPPH radical scavenging activities) of the methanolic extract revealed a higher potency for the raw methanolic extract compared with the cooked methanolic extract. The assessment of the in vitro enzyme digested Bambara nut for antioxidant action revealed a high activity for the enzyme digested Bambara nut compared with the methanolic extract. Conversely, the cooking process improved the antioxidant activity after in vitro enzyme digestion. The result of this study indicates that the selected legume has some phyto-constituents with some measure of antioxidant action and that the phyto-constituents will be better released after passing through the gastrointestinal tract, and therefore could be harnessed as a functional food with potential health benefits.
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