In this work the (poly)-phenolic profile of Moringa oleifera leaves was comprehensively investigated through untargeted metabolomics, following a homogenizer-assisted extraction (HAE) using three solvent systems, i.e. methanol (HAE-1), methanol-water 50:50 v/v (HAE-2) and ethyl acetate (HAE-3). This approach allowed to putatively annotate 291 compounds, recording mainly flavonoids and phenolic acids. Thereafter, antioxidant capacity, antimicrobial activity and enzyme inhibition were assayed in the different extracts. HAE-1 extract showed the highest total phenolic content (31.84 mg/g), followed by HAE-2 (26.95 mg/g) and HAE-3 (14.71 mg/g). In addition, HAE-1 and HAE-2 extracts exhibited an expressive activity against Bacillus cereus and Listeria innocua. The HAE-2 leaf extract was characterized by the highest DPPH and ABTS values (being 49.55 and 45.26 mgTE/g), while ferric reducing antioxidant power was found to be higher in HAE-1 (58.26 mgTE/g). Finally, the enzyme inhibitory effects of M. oleifera leaf extracts were investigated against five enzymes, namely acetylcholinesterase (AChE), butyrylcholinesterase (BChE), tyrosinase, α-amylase and α-glucosidase. All of the tested extracts exhibited inhibitory effects on AChE and BChE with a higher activity for HAE-3 and HAE-1, whilst HAE-1 showed the higher impact on tyrosinase, glucosidase and amylase activities. Taken together, these findings suggest that M. oleifera leaf extracts are a good source of bioactive polyphenols with a potential use in food and pharma industries.
- Antioxidant activity, antimicrobial activity
- Enzymatic activity
- Food metabolomics