Phytonutrient and compositional analysis in traditionally-used Native American edible plants, Yucca whipplei from S. California
Plant derived foods such as fruits and vegetables are rich sources of antioxidants, phenolics and other biologically active components shown to reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Traditionally-used Native American edible plants are thought to be rich sources of phytonutrients, antioxidants, and biologically active components, however, research reports providing data on content and processing impacts are sparse. The objective of the study was to measure nutritional and compositional attributes of selected Native American edible plants and plant parts from Southern California including Yucca whipplei fruit pods and blossoms, and Urtica dioica leaves (commonly known as stinging nettle) in fresh, roasted and parboiled samples. Sample analyses of pH, moisture, total soluble solids (TSS), total chlorophyll, total carotene, antioxidant activity and phenolic content were conducted. HPLC chromatographic overlays were also made to illustrate the difference in antioxidant components in the fresh compared to processed plant samples. Total phenolic content was higher in both the fresh blossoms (548.8 mg GAE g-1 DW) and pods (254.7 mg GAE g-1 DW) as compared to cooked blossoms (459.1 mg GAE g-1 DW) and pods (198.1 mg GAE g-1 DW). These results were supported by the HPLC chromatograms that demonstrated differences in type of phenolic compounds and consequent reduced levels following cooking treatments. These plants were found to be rich sources of antioxidant activity and phenolic content, and influenced by processing under the conditions of this study.
Barth, M.M., Hu, Y., McCarthy, D., Zhuang, Hong and Gorman, G. (2015). Phytonutrient and compositional analysis in traditionally-used Native American edible plants, Yucca whipplei from S. California. Acta Hortic. 1106, 43-48
antioxidant, indigenous, yucca, phenolic, sustainability