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Md. Shahidul Islam, Makoto Yoshimoto, Koji Ishiguro, Shigenori Okuno, and Osamu Yamakawa

The phenolic content and the radical scavenging activity were compared in leaves of sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas L.) cultivars Shimon-1, Kyushu-119 and Elegant Summer grown under different temperature and shading conditions. Compared to cultivar differences, there was less effect of temperature and shading on the total phenolic content in sweetpotato leaves, however certain polyphenolic components differed widely among the treatments. The positive correlation between the radical scavenging activity and the level of total phenolics (r = 0.62) suggests that phenolic compounds are important antioxidant components of sweetpotato leaves. All the reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) profiles of the cultivars tested showed peaks at the same retention times but peak areas of individual phenolic compounds differed with respective temperature and shading treatments. The phenolic compounds identified in the sweetpotato leaf were caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, 4,5-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid, 3,5-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid, 3,4-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid, and 3,4,5-tri-O-caffeoylquinic acid. Most of the phenolic compounds were highest in leaves from plants grown at 20 °C without shading except 4,5-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid. The results indicate that growing leaves under moderately high temperatures and in full sun enhances the accumulation of phenolic components. These phenolic components have possible value in enhancing human health.