Variation in the Quercetin Content in Different Colored Onions (Allium cepa L.)

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 Vegetable Improvement Center, Department of Horticultural Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843

The aglycone, or free quercetin, and total quercetin content of 75 cultivars and selections was analyzed by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography. Quercetin glycosides were hydrolyzed into aglycones. Total quercetin content in yellow, pink, and red onions varied from 54 to 286 mg·kg-1 fresh weight in different onion entries grown during 1992. White onions contained trace amounts of total quercetin. Free quercetin content in all the onions was low (< 0.4 mg·kg-1) except in `20272-G' (12.5 mg·kg-1 fresh weight). Bulbs stored at 5, 24, and 30C and controlled atmosphere (CA) for 0,1,2,3,4, and 5 months showed a most marked change in total quercetin content at 24C compared to other treatments, with a rise in mid-storage followed by a drop. Storage at 5 and 30C also demonstrated a similar change. However, total quercetin content did not vary significantly in bulbs stored at CA for 5 months. We conclude that genetic and storage factors affect quercetin content on onions.

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