Authors:F.J. García-Alonso, I. Navarro-González, G. Ros, and M.J. Periago
The aim of this research was to assess the total antioxidant activity (TAA) of lipophilic (Lextr) and hydrophilic (Hextr) tomato extracts using in vitro chemical tests and cell-based assays, focusing on possible synergistic actions between tomato antioxidants. Both Hextr and Lextr were HPLC analysed for their carotenoids, phenolic compounds, and ascorbic acid contents. For the evaluation of TAA, extracts were assayed alone or in combination using in vitro chemical tests (TEAC, FRAP) and cell-based (CAA) assays using human hepatoma (HepG2) and human histiocytic lymphoma (U937) cells. The only carotenoid detected in Lextr was lycopene, while a mixture of phenolic compounds (chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, and rutin) was identified in Hextr. Ascorbic acid was not found either in Hextr or in Lextr. Upon extract combination (1:1, v/v), the FRAP assay revealed additive action between Lextr and Hextr, whilst a slight synergistic action was observed in TAA as measured by the TEAC assay. Synergistic action was better revealed when TAA was analysed using either U937 or HepG2 cells. This could be explained by the presence of a multiphase media (cell membrane and extra- and intracellular media) that might facilitate the distribution and interaction of antioxidants with different polarities and different mechanisms of action.