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In this study, the antioxidant properties of banana flower extracts (cvs. Baxijiao (AAA) and Paradisiaca (AAB)) were analysed by using several biochemical assays which include 2, 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity, reducing power, 2, 2’-azinobis-(3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulphonate (ABTS) radical scavenging activities and inhibition of lipid peroxidation in egg lecithin through the formation of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS). These assays have been extensively studied and generally accepted as models to characterize peroxidative damage in biomembranes. In the present study, the EC50 values were calculated using each method as listed above was used to compare the antioxidant efficiency of each banana flower extract. The phenol, flavonoid, vitamin E and saponin contents were also analyzed. Baxijiao flower extract revealed better antioxidant properties by presenting much lower EC50 values, particularly for reducing power. In addition, antioxidant concentrations (polyphenols and flavonoids) were found higher in this flower sample than those in the Paradisiaca sample. The results suggested that the Baxijiao flower could be a better resource either as a dietary supplement or as a food additive than the later one.
Key words: Banana flower, antioxidant, scavenging effects, peroxidation.