Effect of harvest time on the levels of phytochemicals, free radical‐scavenging activity, α‐amylase inhibition and bile acid‐binding capacity of spinach (Spinacia oleracea) Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Spinach is a green leafy vegetable that is rich in health-promoting compounds. The present study analyzed the levels of phytochemicals and health-promoting properties of spinach harvested at 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 days after planting. RESULTS: The time of harvest had a significant effect on nitrate levels, which increased from 1909 ± 70.6 µg g-1 (20 days) to 3668 ± 101.3 µg g-1 (40 days) and then decreased to 974 ± 164 µg g-1 (60 days). Lutein and chlorophylls a and b were found to be maximum at 60 days, whereas β-carotene was higher at 50 days. Liquid chromatography/high-resolution quadrupole time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry (LC/HR-QTOF-MS) was used to identify 12 flavonoids, and their tentative fragmentation pathways have been proposed. Spinach harvested at 30 and 60 days exhibited significantly higher 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and 2,2'-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS) free radical-scavenging activities and inhibition of amylase. The levels of total phenolics ranged from 885 ± 35.1 to 1162 ± 112.4 µg g-1 in the samples. In vitro bile acid-binding capacity showed that glycochenodeoxycholate and glycodeoxycholate were bound to maximum levels in all spinach samples. CONCLUSION: The harvest time has a major effect on the levels of phytochemicals and health-beneficial properties, which indicates that consumption of both baby and mature spinach will provide maximum health benefits. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.

author list (cited authors)

  • Barkat, N., Singh, J., Jayaprakasha, G. K., & Patil, B. S.

citation count

  • 13

publication date

  • March 2018