Effect of pulsed electric fields – assisted extraction on anti-inflammatory and cytotoxic activity of brown rice bioactive compounds

Vincenzo Quagliariello, Rosario Vincenzo Iaffaioli, Mariangela Falcone, Giovanna Ferrari, Gianpiero Pataro, Francesco Donsì

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The bioactive compounds of brown rice exhibit many beneficial health effects, ranging from antioxidant to cytotoxic activities. Pulsed Electric Field (PEF) pretreatment can significantly enhance their extraction, through the induction of the electro-permeabilization of the cell membranes. This paper aims to demonstrate that PEF-assisted extraction of brown rice enables not only enhanced yields of antioxidant compounds, such as γ-oryzanol, polyphenols and phenolic acids, and of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, but also increased cytotoxic effects on cancer cells. Initially, the PEF-assisted extraction conditions have been defined by the assessment of the cell permeabilization index via impedance measurements and the DPPH antioxidant activity. Subsequently, the biological effects of PEF have been evaluated on the cytotoxicity and anti-inflammatory properties against human colon cancer cell line HT29. The results show that PEF-assisted extraction, enhancing the yield of bioactive compounds, with respect to untreated extracts, significantly promotes their antioxidant activity, which is correlated with an increased HT29 cells cytotoxicity. In addition, PEF extracts of brown rice substantially inhibit also gene expression and interleukin production in colon cancer cells, suggesting their exploitation as natural anti-inflammatory agents. The integration of PEF pretreatment in the solvent extraction process of bioactives from brown rice appears, therefore, as a promising practice to significantly enhance their biological activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-124
Number of pages10
JournalFood Research International
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Antioxidant
  • Bioactive compounds
  • Brown rice
  • Cytotoxic activity
  • HT29 cell line
  • PEF extraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science

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