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Title: Comparison of phenolic content and antioxidant activity for fermented and unfermented rooibos samples extracted with water and methanol
Authors: Hussein, Eslam A. 
Thron, Christopher 
Ghaziasgar, Mehrdad 
Vaccari, Mattia 
Marnewick, Jeanine L 
Hussein, Ahmed A. 
Keywords: Rooibos tea;Aspalathus linearis;phenolics;antioxidant;classification;small data;machine learning;water extract;methanol extract;baseline;uncertainty quantification
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: MDPI
Source: Hussein, E. A., Thron, C., Ghaziasgar, M. et al. 2022. Comparison of phenolic content and antioxidant activity for fermented and unfermented rooibos samples extracted with water and methanol. Plants, 11: 16. [ 10.3390/plants11010016]
Journal: Plants 
Abstract: Rooibos is brewed from the medicinal plant Aspalathus linearis. It has a well-established wide spectrum of bio-activity properties, which in part may be attributed to the phenolic antioxidant power. The antioxidant capacity (AOC) of rooibos is related to its total phenolic content (TPC). The relation between TPC and AOC of randomly selected 51 fermented (FR) and 47 unfermented (UFR) rooibos samples was studied after extraction using water and methanol separately. The resulted extracts were assessed using two antioxidant assays, trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP). The results were analyzed using both simple statistical methods and machine learning. The analysis showed different trends of TPC and AOC correlations of FR and UFR samples, depending on the solvent used for extraction. The results of the water extracts showed similar TPC and higher AOC of FR than UFR samples, while the methanolic extracted samples showed higher TPC and AOC of UFR than FR. As a result, the methanolic extracts showed better agreement between TPC and AOC than water extracts. Possible explanations are given for these observed results. Although, the current literature demonstrates direct correlations of the TPC and AOC of rooibos water extracts. This study showed deviation and highlighted the importance of solvent selection and analysis methodology as an important factor in determining the TPC/AOC correlation and subsequently the expectation of the actual health benefits of rooibos herbal tea. In particular, unfermented and fermented samples can be accurately identified on the basis of a combination of assays (any two of TPC, FRAP and TEAC), especially if methanol is the solvent used. Machine learning analysis of assay data provides nearly identical results with classical statistical analytical methods. This is the first report on machine learning analysis and comparison of the TPC and AOC of rooibos herbal tea extracted with methanol and water, and highlights the importance of using methanol as a solvent to evaluate its AOC.
ISSN: 2223-7747
DOI: 10.3390/plants11010016
Appears in Collections:Appsc - Journal Articles (DHET subsidised)

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