Asparagus is an interesting vegetable as a part of a healthy diet and has been widely studied due to the high nutritional value and potential positive effects on human health. Wild asparagus (Asparagus acutifolius L.) grows along the Adriatic coast and islands, while the cultivated asparagus (A. officinalis L.) is mostly grown in the eastern region of Croatia. The aim of this study was to determine total polyphenol content (measured spectrophotometrically) and antioxidant activity (DPPH) in wild and cultivated asparagus. No significant differences in total polyphenol content were found between wild and cultivated asparagus. The highest content of polyphenols in wild asparagus was 6.20 [mg GAE/g fresh weight] and 49.60 [mg GAE/g dry weight], and in cultivated asparagus it was 4.52 [mg GAE/g fresh weight] and 50.93 [mg GAE/g dry weight]. Antioxidant activity measured using DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) method showed statistically significant difference. Higher antioxidant activity was measured in cultivated than in wild asparagus. The results also indicate that increased polyphenol content leads to higher antioxidant activity, but more so in the cultivated asparagus. Based on the results, the cultivated asparagus is an excellent alternative to wild asparagus that should be protected from over-harvesting, thus preventing devastation of plant diversity of islands and coast.
Marina Palfi, Podravka d.d., Ante Starčevića 32, 48000 Koprivnica, Croatia , email@example.com