Antioxidant properties of neem (Azdirachta indica) infusions encapsulated with soy protein

María Luisa Carrillo Inungaray, Abigail Reyes Munguía, Antonio Reyes Martínez, Cristóbal Noé Aguilar González, Raúl Rodríguez Herrera


Introduction: Plants contain phytochemicals with healing properties, although not scientifically proven. Neem (Azadirachta indica) is a plant, which has been reported to have antioxidant activity leaves. The aim of this study was to evaluate the polyphenol content and antioxidant activity of neem extracts and determine the optimal infusion time to preserve the antioxidant activity of the active compounds in infusions of fresh and dry wall material using neem for encapsulation.

Method: Fresh and dried neem leaves were used to prepare infusions at 0, 3 , 5, 8 , 10, 12 and 15 minutes, which are determined ° Bx , pH , color intensity, content of polyphenols by method of Folin-Ciocalteu and antioxidant activity by the rate of uptake of the stable 1,1-diphenyl-1-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH) radical. In the infusions higher content of antioxidant compounds were added 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5 and 3.0 % soy protein as wall material and stored for 16 days. Every third day they evaluated the polyphenol content, antioxidant activity and percentage inhibition.

Results: The increased release of active compounds from neem dry leaves was obtained after 8 minutes of infusion. When using fresh leaves for the infusions, the optimal time was 12 minutes, their inhibition percentage was 41.09%, and with infusions of dry leaves, at time 0 and 3 were 60.59% and 64.73% inhibition respectively, and at 15 minutes 86.81%. The content of phenolic compounds, antioxidant activity and percent inhibition were lower in infusions with wall material compared to infusions in which no wall material was added.          

Discussion or Conclusion: Infusions from dried neem leaves are a good natural source of phenolic compounds. Likewise, the use of wall materials such as soy protein is presented as an alternative to preserve the phenolic compounds present in neem.


Azadirachta indica; neem; phenolic compounds; antioxidant activity; biopolimers


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