A comparative analysis of phytochemicals in three different varieties of onions

  • Ayona Jayadev Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences, All Saints’ College, Thiruvananthapuram
  • Jisha K. Post Graduate Student, Department of Environmental Sciences, All Saints’ College, Thiruvananthapuram
Keywords: Phytochemicals, Allium cepa, Allium sativa, shallots, phyto-nutrients


Allium genus includes vegetables like onion, shallots, garlics etc. These are consumed throughout the world for their peculiar pungent taste. They are also valued for the medicinal properties they carry. Traditionally, these vegetables were used to treat health problems associated with cardiac and blood vascular system related illness and gastric problems. Later studies have shown that they have anticancer properties. This work was carried out to study the phytochemical composition of three species of Allium (Allium cepa, Allium sativum and another variety of Allium cepa that is garlic) and to compare them based on that. The three plant materials were initially screened for the presence of phytochemicals like alkaloids, saponins, tannins, flavonoids, glycosides, phenols as per the standard procedures. Carbohydrates, proteins were also analysed by standard procedures. The content of the phytochemicals and phytonutrients were also quantitatively estimated using standard procedures. Almost all phytochemicals is found in all the forms of the onions studied. All the studied species of onions were found to contain all the phytochemicals and nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins and vitamin C. Among the three varieties of onion studied, garlic was found to have the maximum phenol content (0.14 g/100g material). Shallots were having the highest amount of flavonoid content (46.2g/100 mg). The least amount of flavonoid is present in onions (27.6g/100mg). Of the three species of Allium studied, garlic has the maximum saponin content (104.421 g/100g). Regarding alkaloid content, garlic came first in quantity (242.2 g/100g). The tannin content of onion was found to be maximum (1121.37 mg/100g). Shallots also have considerable tannin content (831.38 mg/100g). This work showed that shallots contained the maximum quantity of terpenes followed by onions (241.642 mg/100g). Current study showed that garlic contains highest content of glycosides among the various varieties studied (0.485 mg/100g). The phyto nutrients analysed in the present study were carbohydrates, proteins and vitamin C. Of these contents, garlic showed the maximum carbohydrate content (38.62 mg/100 g), protein content (3.029 mg/100g) and Vitamin C (0.00487 mg/100g).


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