Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS) in Biology



Committee Chair

Dr. Mijitaba Hamissou


Aging is a natural process that living organisms go through as they become older. In humans and other animals, aging is accompanied by several morphological changes, including the formation of wrinkles. Wrinkles are also caused by various environmental factors such as excessive exposure to sun or pollution, and continuous sleep deprivation. These environmental factors cause oxidation of skin cells and the degradation of subcutaneous fatty acids, leading to the formation of wrinkles. Skin care and wrinkle treatment products are part of a multimillion-dollar industry. Plant-based products are an alternative method for treating wrinkles and premature aging. Several antioxidants naturally found in plants have been associated with slowing down or preventing wrinkle formation.

The objective of this study is to determine the antioxidant capacity of tiger nut bulbs (Cyperus esculentus), chili pepper (Capsicum annuum), and turmeric (Curcuma longa) by analyzing their vitamin A, C, and E contents. Tiger nut, chili pepper, and turmeric constituents were extracted in distilled water. To examine vitamin C content, a spectrophotometric method using potassium permanganate (KMnO4 in 0.1-M sulfuric acid (H2SO4)) was used to test the extracted samples. Similar techniques were used to test vitamin E contents of the samples using spectrophotometric methods bathophenanthroline, iron (III) chloride (FeCl3), and phosphoric acid (H3PO4). For vitamin A testing, spectrophotometric methods using potassium hydroxide (KOH) and xylene were conducted on the extracted samples. The samples were also measured against the standard curves for vitamins C and E. Results indicated that tiger nut contains more vitamin A and E than chili pepper but less vitamin C. Future uses of these plants can possibly help aid in not only antiaging possibilities, but also within general skincare health.



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