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The antioxidant activity and the bioactive compound content of Stevia rebaudiana water extracts

Stevia rebaudiana (SR), a chrysanthemum herb, has been used as a vegetable-based sweetening additive in health drinks and in other foods. This study was conducted to investigate the antioxidant activity and the bioactive compounds found in water extracts taken from SR leaves and calli. Analysis of vitamins in the leaves showed that folic acid (52.18 mg/100 g) was a major component, followed by vitamin C. The total phenolic and flavonoid contents were found to be 130.76 mg catechin and 15.64 mg quercetin for leaves and 43.99 mg catechin and 1.57 mg quercetin for cellus at mg of water extracts, respectively. Pyrogallol was the major material among the phenolic compounds in both leaf and callus extracts. Furthermore, our results showed that the leaf extracts contained higher amounts of free radicals, hydroxyl radicals and superoxide anion radical scavenging activities than those of the callus extracts.