A reappraisal of traditional apple cultivars from Southern Italy as a rich source of phenols with superior antioxidant activity.
Food Chem. 2013 Oct 15 ;140(4):672-9. Epub 2013 Mar 14. PMID: 23692752
Few literature data are available on the nutraceutical properties of little widespread local apple cultivars. Such lack of information prevents exploitation of these germplasms for genetic improvement of new cultivars and for the re-evaluation of local agricultural products, which may attract a large share of consumers oriented towards natural food evoking ancient flavours. In this work eight traditional apple cultivars of Southern Italy were analysed in terms of phenolic composition and free radical scavenging activity in comparison with commercial"Annurca"and"Gold Chief® Gold Pink∗"cultivars. HPLC-UV-MS analysis of methanol extracts of the cultivars under examination showed significant differences in phenol distribution within the three main classes of hydroxycinnamates, dihydrochalcones, and flavan-3-ols. Such differences were found to be associated with the antioxidant activities as determined by the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay. A good correlation was observed between the percentage of reduced DPPH and the total phenol content (R=0.79). Among all phenol classes, the flavan-3-ol content showed the highest correlation (R=0.77). Almost all of the traditional cultivars examined exhibited a much higher phenol content (2- to 7-fold) and hydrogen donor activity (1.5- to 4-fold) than widely consumed cultivars like"Annurca"and"Gold Chief® Gold Pink∗".