QUANTIFICATION OF CAROTENOIDS AND CHLOROPHYLL LEAF PIGMENTS FROM AUTOCHTHONES DIETARY

Mariana LUPOAE, Bianca FURDUI, Rodica DINICĂ, Dragomir COPREAN

Abstract

Chlorophylls are the preponderant photosynthetic pigments of the verdant tissues of vascular plants, liverworts, and various algae. Carotenoids are essential for the survival of photosynthetic organisms. They function as light-harvesting molecules and provide photoprotection. Information gathered from the screening of secondary plant metabolites is vital for the accurate determination of the dietary intake of these micro-nutrients, and in the development of comprehensive food tables. Determination of basal levels is also necessary for the rational engineering of health-promoting phytochemicals in food crops. In addition this approach can also be applied to the routine screening of products to determine metabolic differences between varieties and cultivars, as well as between genetically modified and the corresponding non-genetically modified tissue. Beta -carotene accounts for more than 90% of total carotenoids in vegetables. In human beings, beta-carotene not only serves as valuable source of vitamin A, but also serves as a potent antioxidant, scavenging free radicals and quenching singlet oxygen. By this latter property, beta-carotene is understood to reduce the risk of development of certain types of cancer This study therefore is aimed at determining the beta-carotene and chlorophyll contents of same selected autochthones plants (Allium ursinum, Alliaria petiolata, Urtica dioica) from Macin Mountains harvested on spontaneous flora. Photosynthetic pigments of investigated plants were extracted from leaves using appropriate solvents. The pigment quantification of individual plants was investigated by spectrophotometric analysis. The levels of carotenoids, and chlorophyll varied in each plant and the results were similar to the previously results reported in the literature.

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