In this work, considering the rising interest towards the exploitation of hemp seed oil in human nutrition, 45 hemp seeds from mono-variety fields were analyzed for their yield, oil content, in vitro antioxidant activity, followed by a comprehensive assessment of phenolic and sterolic composition. The results demonstrated that seed dimension is inversely correlated to total oil content, thus being a potential reference for quality assessment of seeds and for further improvement of hemp varieties. The UHPLC-QTOF metabolomic analysis revealed a large abundance of phytosterols, lower-molecular-weight phenolic acids, and lignanamides. Differences across varieties could be described, with Diana hemp seed oil having the highest cumulative abundance of phytochemicals, recording 6.04 mg/g. Overall, the in vitro antioxidant activity results indicated that hemp seed oil antioxidants have a low potential for preventing oil rancidity, with phenolic acids being the most active radical scavengers. Besides, in the group of Futura 75 samples cultivated across Italy, the type of harvesting affected the acidity value significantly as a consequence of mechanical harvest and post-harvest handling. Finally, multivariate statistics following untargeted metabolomic analysis showed that variety, geographical origin, and harvest-type were able to affect the phytochemical profiles with different incidences, with some phytochemicals proposed for the first time as potential discriminant markers.
- Hemp seed oil
- Multivariate statistics