Hydroxycinnamic acids and their derivatives in broa, a traditional ethnic maize bread

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Maize is one of the most interesting dietary sources of hydroxycinnamic acids, widely known for their beneficial health effects, namely antioxidant properties. This work aims to identify hydroxycinnamic acids and their derivatives in broa, a Portuguese traditional ethnic maize bread, and corresponding maize flours. Soluble and insoluble phenolic fractions of diverse maize flours and corresponding broas were prepared and analysed by HPLC‐DAD‐MS/MS (high‐performance liquid chromatography coupled with diode array detector and tandem mass spectrometry). Besides free hydroxycinnamic acids, mainly ferulic and p‐coumaric acids, several structural isomers and stereoisomers of insoluble ferulic acid dehydrodimers (n = 18) and trimers (n = 11), were also identified. Hydroxycinnamic acid amides consisting of coumaroyl and feruloyl conjugates (n = 22) were present in both soluble and insoluble fractions of maize flours and breads, in different isomeric forms. A new compound was putatively identified as bis‐N,N′‐diferuloyl putrescine. Additionally, more complex and insoluble hydroxycinnamic acid amides, derived from ferulic acid dehydrodimers (n = 47) and trimers (n = 18), were also putatively identified for the first time, suggesting that hydroxycinnamic acid amides are also linked to maize cell walls. Since hydroxycinnamic derivatives were not only identified in maize flours, but also in broas, they can contribute to the antioxidant properties and beneficial health effects of maize‐based foods.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1471
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2020


  • Broa
  • Dehydrodiferuloyl putrescines
  • Dehydrotriferuloyl putrescines
  • Ferulic acid
  • Hydroxycinnamic acid amides
  • Maize
  • P‐coumaric acid


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