Euterpe oleracea (açaí) is a palm tree well known for the high antioxidant activity of its berries used as dietary supplements. Little is known about the biological activity and the composition of its vegetative organs. The objective of this study was to investigate the antioxidant activity of root and leaflet extracts of Euterpe oleracea (E. oleracea) and characterize their phytochemicals. E. oleracea roots and leaflets extracts were screened in different chemical antioxidant assays (DPPH—2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl, FRAP—ferric feducing antioxidant power, and ORAC—oxygen radical absorbance capacity), in a DNA nicking assay and in a cellular antioxidant activity assay. Their polyphenolic profiles were determined by UV and LC-MS/MS. E. oleracea leaflets had higher antioxidant activity than E. oleracea berries, and leaflets of Oenocarpus bacaba and Oenocarpus bataua, as well as similar antioxidant activity to green tea. E. oleracea leaflet extracts were more complex than root extracts, with fourteen compounds, including caffeoylquinic acids and C-glycosyl derivatives of apigenin and luteolin. In the roots, six caffeoylquinic and caffeoylshikimic acids were identified. Qualitative compositions of E. oleracea, Oenocarpus bacaba and Oenocarpus bataua leaflets were quite similar, whereas the quantitative compositions were quite different. These results provide new prospects for the valorization of roots and leaflets of E. oleracea in the pharmaceutical, food or cosmetic industry, as they are currently by-products of the açaí industry.
Brunschwig, C., Leba, L. J., Saout, M., Martial, K., Bereau, D., & Robinson, J. C. (2017). Chemical composition and antioxidant activity of euterpe oleracea roots and leaflets. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 18(1). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18010061