Extracts from 37 fruits and vegetables were tested as ultraviolet (UV) protectants for the nucleopolyhedrovirus (SeMNPV) of the beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Only one extract (black currant) provided almost complete protection following UVB/UVA irradiation for 30 minutes under laboratory conditions. As a group, fruit and vegetable extracts were significantly less effective than published values for herb and spice extracts. Based on analyses of antioxidant capacity and total phenolic content of selected plants, it was determined that (1) herbs and spices contained much higher levels of antioxidants and phenolics than fruits and vegetables, (2) neither high levels of antioxidants nor high levels of phenolics alone could account for UV protection, and (3) selection of extracts with high levels of both antioxidants and total phenolics resulted in increased UV protection.
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