Analysis of anthocyanins in the purple corn (Zea mays L.) from Peru and its antioxidant properties

Keywords: antioxidant, stability, Flavonoids, purple corn breeds, varieties improved


The purple corn (Zea mays L.), is an important cereal in Peru, which contains polyphenols, among which include flavonoids, being anthocyanins the most important one. The ear (cob and grain) is made up of 85% grain and 15% cob. Its high content of anthocyanin, mainly as cyanidine-3-glucoside (C3G), makes it act as a powerful natural antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-inflammatory, it also helps lower blood pressure and high cholesterol, improves blood circulation and promotes tissue regeneration. Because of these important benefits, it arises the need to understand the mechanism of action of anthocyanins in human health. Therefore, the objective of the present review paper is to describe the chemical structure of anthocyanins, what types and factors affect not only its color but also its stability. In the second part, it was detailed the different races and varieties improved of purple corn in Peru, and the amount of anthocyanins found with the different chemical techniques used. Finally, the different biological activities of anthocyanins are described with emphasis in the most important one as a powerful antioxidant. Finding that the optimal extraction conditions of anthocyanins are with 1 g of sample and 15 mL of water with in agitation constant for 15 min at 90 ºC, highlighting the high antioxidant power in both systems in-vitro and ex-vivo.