Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription Access
Cover Image

Effect of different harvesting times on phytochemical constituents and antioxidant activity of Jatropha zeyheri leaves

Annah Mankutu Sehlapelo, Kagiso Given Shadung, Maboko Samuel Mphosi


Tea harvesting time is one of the key factors which influence the physiological, physical and chemical qualities of tea. However, the influence of harvesting times on phytochemical constituents and antioxidant activity of Jatropha zeyheri indigenous tea has not been documented. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of harvesting times on phytochemical constituents and antioxidant activity in J. zeyheri leaves. Jatropha zeyheri leaves were harvested at Khureng village, Lepelle-Nkumpi Municipality, in Limpopo Province South Africa. Five treatments constituting February, March, April, May and June were arranged in a randomised complete block design, with 10 replications. Leaves were harvested monthly and oven-dried for 24 hrs at a temperature of 60°C. The dried leaves were ground through 1 mm sieve using grinder prior analysis. After laboratory preparations, phytochemicals and antioxidant activity were analysed using the UV-visible spectrophotometer. Data were subjected to ANOVA using the Statistix 10.0 and mean separation achieved using LSD Test. Harvesting times had highly significant effects on the antioxidant activity, total phenol and flavonoid contents contributing 62, 88 and 60%, respectively, in total treatment variation, but was non-significant on tannins. Antioxidant activity, total phenol and total flavonoid contents over increasing harvesting times exhibited quadratic relations, which were explained by 50, 87 and 95%, respectively. Relative to harvesting in February, harvesting times decreased antioxidant activity and total phenol contents by 10-28 and 29-52%, respectively, whereas total flavonoid contents were increased by 2-137%. In conclusion, antioxidant activity, total phenol and flavonoid contents were affected by harvesting times.


Harvesting times, indigenous tea, mineral elements, phytochemicals, plant parts, tea quality

Full Text:



Ahmed, D., Baig, H., Zara, S. (2012). Seasonal variation of phenolics, flavonoids, antioxidant and lipid peroxidation inhibitory activity of methanolic extract of Melilotus indicus and its sub-fractions in different solvents. Int. J. Phytomedicine., 4: 326-332.

Ahmed, S. (2011). Biodiversity and ethnography of tea management systems in Yunnan, China. Masters Dissertation, the Graduate Centre of the City University of New York, USA.

Ahmed, S., Stepp, J.R., Orians, C., Griffin, T., Matyas, C., Robbat Jr, A., Cash, S., Xue, D., Long, C., Unachukwu, U., Buckley, S., Small, D., Kennelly, E. (2014). Effects of extreme climate events on tea (Camellia sinensis) functional quality validate indigenous farmer knowledge and sensory preferences in tropical China. PLoS One., 9: 109-126.

Aldrich, H.T., Kendall, P., Bunning, M., Stonaker, F., Kulen, O., Stushnoff, A. (2011). Environmental temperatures influence antioxidant properties and mineral content in broccoli cultivars grown organically and conventionally. J. Agron.Crop Sci., 2: 1-10.

Arena, M.E., Radice, S. (2016). Seasonal variation in leaf growth and antioxidant content of Moringa oleifera cultivated at Buenos Aires, Argentina. Int. J. Agric. Biol., 18: 719-725.

Bhagat, R.B., Kulkarni, D.K. (2010). Phytochemical, antioxidant and antimicrobial anlysis of endemic and endangered Jatropha nana Dalz. and Gibs from Maharashtra. J. Pharm. Res., 3: 273-276.

Brand-Williams, W., Cuvelier, M.E., Berset. C. (1995). Use of a free radical method to evaluate antioxidant activity. Food Sci. Technol., 28: 25-30.

Brunetti, C., Guidi, L., Sebastiani, F., Tattini, M. (2015). Isoprenoids and phenyl- propanoids are key components of the antioxidant defence system of plants facing severe excess light stress. Environ. Exp. Bot., 119: 54-62.

Butt, M.S., Sultan, M.T. (2009). Green tea: Nature’s defense against malignancies. Crit. Rev. Food Sci. Nutr., 449: 463-473.

Chen, D., Milacic, V., Chen, M.S. (2008). Tea polyphenols, their biological effects and potential molecular targets. Histol and Histopathol., 23: 487-496.

Chen, Y., Jiang, Y., Duan, J., Shi, J., Xue, S., Kakuda, Y. (2010). Variation in catechin contents in relation to quality of ‘Huang Zhi Xiang’ oolong tea (Camellia sinensis) at various growing altitudes and seasons. Food Chem., 119: 648-652.

Chen, Z., Zhang, D., Guo, J., Tao, W., Gong, R., Yao, L., Zhang, X., Cao, W. (2019). Active components, antioxidant, inhibition on metabolic syndrome related enzymes, and monthly variations in mature leaf hawk tea. Molecules., 24: 657-673.

Digehsara, M.M., Bakhshi, D., Ghorbani, E. (2012). Effect of harvesting time on flavonoid content and antioxidant activity of raspberries. Asian Australas. J. Plant Sci. Biotechnol. 6: 72-74.

Duda, S.C., Mȁrghitaș, L.A., Dezmirean, D., Duda, M., Mȁrgȁoan, R., Bobiș, O. (2015). Changes in major bioactive compounds with antioxidant activity of Agastache foeniculum, Lavandula angustifolia, Melissa officinalis and Nepeta cataria: Effect of harvest time and plant species. Ind. Crops Prod., 77: 499-507.

Dufresne, C.J., Farnworth, E. (2001). A review of latest findings on the health promotion properties of tea. J. Nutr. Biochem., 12: 404-421.

Ercisli, S., Orhan, E., Ozdemir, O., Sengul, M., Gungor, N. 2008. Seasonal variation of total phenolic, antioxidant activity, plant nutritional elements, and fatty acids in tea leaves (Camellia sinensis var. sinensis clone Derepazari 7) grown in Turkey. Pharm. Biol., 46: 683-687.

Ertuk, Y., Ercisli, S., Sengul, M., Eser, Z., Haznedar, A., Turan, M. (2010). Seasonal variation of total phenolic, antioxidant activity and minerals in fresh tea shoots (Camellia sinensis var sinensis). Pak. J. Pharm. Sci., 23: 69-74.

Garmash, E.V. (2005). Temperature controls a dependence of barley plant growth on mineral nutrition level of Russ. J. Plant Physiol., 52: 338-344.

Gobbo-Neto, L., Lopes, N.P. (2007). Medicinal plants: Factors of influence on the content of secondary metabolites. Quím. Nova., 30: 374-381.

Hara, Y., Luo, S.J., Wickremasinghe, R.L., Yamanishi, T. (1995). Special issue on tea. Food Rev. Int., 11: 371-545.

Harbowy, M.E., Balentine, D.A. (1997). Tea chemistry. Crit. Rev. Plant Sci., 16: 415-480.

Hlahla, L., Mudau, F., Mariga, I. (2010). Effect of fermentation temperature and time on the chemical composition of bush tea (Athrixia phylicoides DC.). J. Med. Plant Res., 4: 824-829.

Hooper, L., Kroon, P.A., Rimm, E.B., Cohn, J.S., Harvey, I., Le Cornu, K.A., Ryder, J.J., Hall, W.L., Cassidy, A. (2008). Flavonoids, flavonoid-rich foods, and cardiovascular risk: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 88: 38-50.

Jayasekera, S., Molan, A.L., Garg, M., Moughan P.J. (2011). Variation in antioxidant potential and total polyphenol content of fresh and fully fermented Sri Lankan tea. Food Chem., 119: 648-652.

Karori, S.M., Wachira, F.N., Wanyoko, J.K., Ngure, R.M. (2007). Antioxidant capacity of different types of tea products. Afr. J. Biotechnol., 6: 2287-2296.

Kaur, L., Jayasekera, S., Moughan, P.J. (2014). Antioxidant Quality of Tea (Camellia sinensis) as Affected by Environmental Factors: Processing and Impact on Antioxidants in Beverages. Academic Press: San Diego.

Kim, Y., Lee, K.G., Kim, M.K. (2016). Volatile and non-volatile compounds in green tea affected in harvesting time and their correlation to consumer preference. J. Food Sci. Technol., 53: 3735-3743.

Kissinger, M., Tuvia-alkalai, S., Shalom, Y., Fallik, E. (2005). Characterization of physiological and biological factors associated with post-harvest loses in ripe pepper fruit during storage. J. Hortic. Sci., 130: 735-741.

Le Gall, G., Colquhoun, I.J., Defernez, M. (2004). Metabolite profiling using 1H-NMR spectroscopy for quality assessment of green tea, Camellia sinensis (L.). J. Agric. Food Chem., 52: 692-700.

Lee, L.S., Kim, S.H., Kim, Y.B., Kim, Y.C. (2014). Quantitative analysis of major constituents in green tea with different plucking periods and their antioxidant activity. Molecules., 19: 9173-9186.

Li, X., Wu, X., Huang, L. (2009). Correlation between antioxidant activities and phenolic contents of radix Angelicae sinensis (Danggui). Molecules., 14: 5349-5361.

Lillo, C., Lea, U., Ruoff, P. (2008). Nutrient depletion as a key factor for manipulating gene expression and product formation in different branches of the flavonoid pathway. Plant Cell Environ., 31: 587-601.

Mudau, F.N., Makunga, P.N. (2018). Seasonal variations and growth conditions on carbohydrate partitioning in different organs and the quality of bush tea. J. Am. Soc. Hortic. Sci., 53: 999-1005.

Mudau, F.N., Soundy, P., Du Toit, E.S., Olivier, J. (2006). Variation in polyphenolic content of Athrixia phylicoides (L.) (bush tea) leaves with season and nitrogen application. S. Afr. J. Bot., 72: 398-402.

Mutshekwa, N., Mphosi, M.S., Shadung, K.G. (2019). The influence of time-based hot air-drying method on total polyphenols, total antioxidants and tannins of Jatropha zeyheri tea leaves. Res. Crops., 20: 195-198.

Nour, V., Trandafir, I., Sina, C. (2014). Antioxidant capacity, phenolic compounds and minerals content of blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum L.) leaves as influenced by harvesting date and extraction method. Ind. Crops Prod., 53: 133-139.

Pan, W., Zhao, J., Chen, Q., Yuah, L. (2015). In situ monitoring total polyphenols content during tea extract oxidation using a portable spectroscopy system with variables selection algorithms. RSC Adv., 5: 60876-60883.

Rahman, A.H.M., Akter, M. (2013). Taxonomy and medicinal uses of Euphorbiaceae (Spurge) family of Rajshahi, Bangladesh. Res. Plant Sci., 1: 74-80.

Van Wyk, B.E., Gericke, N. (2003). People’s Plants. Briza Publications: Pretoria.

Van Wyk, B.E., Gericke, N. (2007). People’s Plants: A Guide to Useful Plants of Southern Africa. Briza Publications: Pretoria.

Wang, S., Meckling, K.A., Marcone, M.F., Kakuda, Y., Tsao, R. (2011). Synergistic, additive and antagonistic effects of food mixtures on total antioxidant capacities. J. Agric. Food Chem., 59: 960-968.

Yang, L., Yin, P., Li, K., Fan, H., Xue, Q., Li, X., Sun, L., Liu, Y. (2017). Seasonal dynamics of constitutive levels of phenolic components lead to alterations of antioxidant capacities in Acer truncatum leaves. Arab. J. Chem., 11: 14-25.

Zhishen, J., Mengcheng, T., Jianming, W. (1999). The determination of flavonoid contents in mulberry and their scavenging effects on superoxide radicals. Food Chem., 64: 555-559.


  • There are currently no refbacks.