Plant aqueous extracts: antioxidant capacity via haemolysis and bacteriophage P22 protection

Maria S. Gião, Isabel Leitão, Ana Pereira, André B. Borges, Catarina J. Guedes, João C. Fernandes, Luís Belo, Alice Santos-Silva, Tim A. Hogg, Manuela E. Pintado, F. Xavier Malcata*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The bacteriophage P22/Salmonella Typhimurium system, as well as human erythrocytes have been used to assay for protection, against forced oxidation caused by hydrogen peroxide, brought about by several aqueous extracts of selected adventitious plants grown in Portugal. This study proved, for the first time, that the aforementioned bacteriophage-based system is a suitable method to assess the antioxidant activity of plant extracts; among the 12 plants tested, raspberry (Rubus idaeus), sage (Salvia sp.), savory (Satureja montana) and yarrow (Achillea millefolium) were found to effectively protect against oxidative damage caused by H2O2. Haemolysis was inhibited via pre-treatment with every plant extract tested, except heath at 0.1% (w/v). The two analytical methods produced different results - and for some plants, there was a dependence (either direct or inverse) of the quantitative protection effect on extract concentration, whereas for others no significant dependence was found at all. Savory yielded the most promising results, using either method. Therefore, the P22/Salmonella system can be used as a suitable in vivo assay, and human erythrocytes as a suitable in vitro assay to confirm (or not) the antioxidant capacity of plant extracts in biological matrices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-638
Number of pages6
JournalFood Control
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2010


  • Erythrocytes
  • In vivo assays
  • Medicinal plants
  • Salmonella Typhimurium


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