The effects of three independent variables: solvent polarity, temperature and extraction time on the antioxidant capacity, total phenolic content and phenolic acid composition in extracts obtained from sunflower shells before and after enzymatic treatment were studied. Response surface methodology based on three-level, three-variable Box-Behnken design was used for optimization of extraction parameters and evaluation of their effect on antioxidant capacity and total phenolic content in shell extracts. The average antioxidant capacities of extracts from sunflower shells without enzymatic treatment (368.1-1574.4 μmol TE/100 g) were higher than those for cellulolytic and pectolytic enzymes-treated shells (222.7-1419.0 and 270.7-1570.7 μmol TE/100 g, respectively). The content of total phenolic compounds ranged between 58.2-341.2 mg CGA/100 g, 26.7-277.3 mg CGA/100 g and 51.4-301.5 mg CGA/100 g for extracts obtained from shells without enzyme and treated with cellulolytic and pectolytic enzymes, respectively. Total phenolic content (TPC) in the studied shell extracts correlated significantly (p< 0.0001) positively with their antioxidant capacity determined by the ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) method (r= 0.9275). Results of FRAP, TPC and phenolic acid composition in the studied shell extracts depend on the extraction conditions (solvent polarity, temperature, time), but they are independent on the addition of enzyme solutions. The antioxidant capacity and total phenolic content in the resulting extracts increased with a line in extraction temperature and solvent polarity. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.
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