A systematic comparison of 17 cultivated herbaceous peony seed based on phytochemicals and antioxidant activity


Herbaceous peony is widely cultivated around the world because of its ornamental and medicinal value, nevertheless, there has not been systematic studies on its seeds. In this study, the fatty acids, total phenol content (TPC), total flavonoids content (TFOC), and secondary metabolites content of 17 cultivars seed were systematically investigated. The antioxidant activity was evaluated by DPPH, FRAP, ABTS, and HRSA. The results showed that the fatty acids of herbaceous peony were different among cultivars, besides, the ALA content of ‘HSHEBT’ and ‘MZL’ has a significantly higher content of ALA and LA, respectively. The metabolite profiles of 17 cultivars were similar and paeoniflorin was the most abundant secondary metabolites in all samples. In addition, the extracts of seeds showed good antioxidant activity in DPPH (32.82–42.6 μmol TE/g DW), ABTS (16.87–57.63 μmol TE/g DW), FRAP (14.55–49.23 μmol TE/g DW) and HRSA (3.16–52.97%). The 17 cultivars were classified into 4 clusters according to the fatty acids, TPC, TFOC, and metabolites. Cluster I showed the highest average value of linolenic acid, TPC, and secondary metabolite content among all clusters, which is consist of ‘XN’ and ‘HSHEBT’ and they are to be a potential resource of functional food. Overall, the resulted showed metabolites and fatty acid content various between herbaceous peony cultivars, which can be the resource of healthy vegetable oil and food with antioxidant effect in the future.

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Correspondence to Yanlong Zhang or Lixin Niu.

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Yan, Z., Li, M., Xie, L. et al. A systematic comparison of 17 cultivated herbaceous peony seed based on phytochemicals and antioxidant activity. Eur Food Res Technol (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00217-020-03544-6

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  • Herbaceous peony
  • Unsaturated fatty acids
  • Total phenols
  • Total flavonoids
  • Secondary metabolites
  • Antioxidant activity