(51) Changes in Phenolic Compounds in Sweetpotatoes during Low Temperature Storage

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  • 1 Louisiana State University, Horticulture, Baton Rouge, LA, 70803

Sweetpotatoes may be potentially high in concentration of certain phytochemical compounds, including phenolics. Low temperature stress-induced phenolic compounds may enhance the nutraceutical value of sweetpotatoes. However, extended exposure to low temperature results in chilling injury. Cured and non-cured roots of `Beauregard' sweetpotatoes were exposed to low temperature storage (5 °C) for up to 4 weeks. The total phenolics and individual phenolic acid contents were determined at weekly intervals using Folin-Denis reagent and reversed-phase HPLC, respectively. Total phenolics and individual phenolic acids increased with length of low temperature exposure. Non-cured roots had a higher phenolic content than cured roots after 4 weeks. A 3-day exposure period to room temperature (22 °C) following removal from low temperature storage typically resulted in increased phenolics. In a comparison of different tissue locations, the highest phenolic content was found in peel tissue and the lowest in the pith tissue. The major individual phenolic acid in all root tissues was chlorogenic acid.

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