Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Food Science (MS)

Degree Level



Food Science


Sun-Ok Lee

Committee Member

Luke R. Howard

Second Committee Member

Shahidul Islam


Anti-colon cancer, Antioxidant, Food Science, Nutrition, Polyphenols, Sweetpotato leaves


Although the root is widely consumed, sweetpotato leaves (SPL) are often discarded and are only consumed in a few countries. In the United States, SPL consumption is limited to private gardens, particularly in the Southeastern United States. Not only are SPL a good source of nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, but they also contain polyphenol compounds including the caffeoylquinic acid derivatives and carotenoids such as lutein. Several studies have shown the polyphenol contents and antioxidant capacities of SPL, which vary based on year and variety, while few studies have shown anti-colon cancer effects of SPL. Therefore, this study investigated the impact of year and variety on the antioxidant capacity and total polyphenol content of SPL and the in vitro anti-colon cancer effects of SPL on cell viability and apoptosis in Caco-2 cells. The results showed that the 2019 SPL possessed higher total polyphenols and antioxidant capacity compared to the 2018 SPL. Among 2019 SPL varieties, SPL1, SPL3, SPL9, SPL11, and SPL28 were selected to evaluate further anti-colon effects. In these 5 SPL varieties with the highest antioxidant and polyphenol amounts, the major polyphenols, 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid, 3,4-dicaffeoylquinic acid, and chlorogenic acid, were identified and quantified. All 5 samples significantly decreased cell viability in a dose-dependent manner and significantly increased apoptosis at 600 µg/mL (p < 0.05). Polyphenols and carotenoids are known to be bioactive compounds with potential health-promoting properties. The findings of the present study support that SPLs contain anti-colon cancer properties, and further research is needed.