This invention concerns to the antioxidant capacity of the aqueous extract of Pieris brassicae larvae fed with Brassica oleracea var. costata and their application either as new antioxidant or additive for pharmaceutical, food and cosmetic industries, or in therapeutics for gout prevention.


Although essential to life of aerobic organisms, oxygen presents undesirable effects due to the formation of reactive oxygen species, which occurs in every cell with aerobic metabolic activity. To maintain the homeostasis, oxidants are inactivated by an array of intra- and extra-cellular antioxidants. An imbalance in oxidant/antioxidant activity causes oxidative stress, resulting in many pathophysiologic conditions. Thus, antioxidants are important in preventive medicine and therapeutics. The use of synthetic antioxidants has been limited for toxicological and technological reasons. Among phytochemicals, phenolic compounds are widely known for their antioxidative properties. Unfortunately, phenolic compounds have complex chemical structures and are hard to be synthesized in the laboratory. The presence of this kind of compounds in insects is associated with the phenolics in their food since they are unable to synthesize them. Pieris brassicae L. is an insect which larvae can feed on various species of Brassicaceae. Several phenolic compounds were already found in P. brassicae reared with “tronchuda” cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. costata).


The aim of the present invention is to provide an aqueous antioxidant extract of natural origin, rich in potent phenolic compounds. The extract has scavenging activity against superoxide and hydroxyl radicals. The extract exerts an inhibitory effect on xanthine oxidase, an enzyme that catalyzes the metabolic conversion of xanthine to uric acid, important in the development of gout disease. The extract may constitute an economical advantage for “tronchuda” cabbage producers who have great losses caused by P. brassicae infestations.

Potential comercial use/applications: 

It has potential application as antioxidant or preservative in pharmaceutical, agriculture, food, and cosmetic industries, or as therapeutic agent in gout prevention.