Antioxidant capacity of Camellia japonica cultivars assessed by near- and mid-infrared spectroscopy

Ricardo N. M. J. Páscoa, A. Margarida Teixeira, Clara Sousa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Main conclusion: Camellia japonica antioxidant capacity highly differs among its cultivars and could be successfully predicted by near- and mid-infrared spectroscopy. Camellia japonica is a Theaceae family species which are mainly used as an ornamental plant due to its colourful flowers presenting over than 32,000 recognized cultivars. However, this species have been somehow neglected due to the popular tea source, Camellia sinensis. In this study, the antioxidant profile (total phenolic and flavonoid content and total antioxidant capacity—TPC, TFC and TAC) of 31 C. japonica cultivars leaves was determined and further assessed by near- and mid-infrared spectroscopy. The leaves’ antioxidant profile was revealed to be highly dependent on the cultivars analysed being in some cases distinct even for different trees of the same cultivar. Near- and mid-infrared spectroscopy proved to be suitable techniques to predict the total phenolic and flavonoid content as well as the total antioxidant capacity. The best results were obtained with near-infrared spectroscopy whose root mean square error of the prediction set samples was of 5.7 mg of gallic acid/g dry leaf; 3.5 mg catechin/g dry leaf and 3.3 mM Trolox/g dry leaf for TPC, TFC and TAC (with coefficients of the determinations equal to or higher than 0.93). Moreover, the range error ratios were higher than 15 meaning that the developed partial least-squares models are very good for calibration and quantification determinations according to the guidelines for near-infrared models development and maintenance. In this work, the antioxidant profile of several C. japonica cultivars leaves was determined for the first time, being that a rapid and low cost spectroscopic-based method was also proposed for its determination.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1053-1062
Number of pages10
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 11 Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Antioxidants
  • Camellia japonica cultivars
  • Chemometrics
  • Flavonoids
  • Infrared spectroscopy
  • Phenolic compounds


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