Composition of Chicory Root, Peel, Seed and Leaf Ethanol Extracts and Biological Properties of Their Non-Inulin Fractions

Adam Jurgoński1*, Joanna Milala2, Jerzy Juśkiewicz1, Zenon Zduńczyk1 and Bogusław Król2

1Division of Food Science, Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research, Polish Academy of Sciences, Tuwima 10, PL-10-747 Olsztyn, Poland

2Institute of Chemical Technology of Food, Technical University of Lódz, B. Stefanowskiego 4/10, PL-90-924 Lódz, Poland

Article history:

Received April 7, 2009
Accepted March 23, 2010

Key words:

inulin, phenolic compounds, Cichorium intybus, chlorogenic acid, antioxidants, rat


The chemical composition of the ethanol extracts of chicory root, peel, seed and leaf has been determined, in particular their inulin and phenolic fractions. The root and peel extracts were characterized by large mass fractions of inulin (60.1 and 46.8 g per 100 g of fresh mass, respectively), predominantly with degree of polymerization in the range from 3 to 10, while phenolics, determined as caffeoylquinic acids, made up 0.5 and 1.7 g per 100 g of fresh mass, respectively. The leaf and seed extracts had decidedly lower mass fractions of inulin (1.7 and 3.2 g per 100 g of fresh mass, respectively) and higher mass fractions of phenolics (9.6 and 4.22 g per 100 g of fresh mass, respectively) recognized as caffeoylquinic acids, chicoric acid and quercetin glucuronide. The biological properties of a non-inulin fraction from each extract were determined on Wistar rats fed with diets rich in fructose and saturated fat, as a model of metabolic changes related to westernization of human eating habits. The diets contained the same amount of inulin (6 %) with various phenolic fractions. Some changes were noted in the microbial enzymatic activity of the caecum after feeding for 4 weeks with the diet containing the highest mass fraction of phenolics (0.208 %), derived from the mixture of peel and seed extracts (decreased activity of β-galactosidase and β-glucuronidase), as well as with the diet containing leaf extract (decreased β-glucuronidase activity). All the diets showed no essential influence on the caecal concentration and profile of short-chain fatty acids, except acetate, whose concentration decreased significantly in rats fed with the diet enriched with root extract. The addition of peel and leaf extracts to the fructose diets significantly increased the serum antioxidant capacity of lipophilic substances. The study indicates that parts of chicory and its byproducts might be a source of valuable compounds to improve the physiological activity of inulin.


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