Phenolic profile and changes in the antioxidant activity of crabapple (Malus domesticacv Royalty) fruit during maturation on the tree

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The fruits of crabapple (Malus domestica cv Royalty) harvested at six times during fruit maturation on the tree (60, 80, 100, 120, 140 and 160 day after full bloom, DAFB) were evaluated for their antioxidant potentials by various assays such as DPPH, ABTS, superoxide anion, hydroxyl radical and ferric reducing power. Total phenolic and flavonoid were analysed and characterised using HPLC-DAD-MS/MS. Results showed that the Royalty fruits harvested on 60 DAFB had the strongest scavenging activity against DPPH, ABTS and Symbol radicals (Symbol = 0.37 mg mL−1, Symbol = 0.19 mg mL−1 and Symbol = 4906.63 U L−1) and ferric reducing power (FRAP = 2.85 mol Fe2+ per kg dw), which highly correlated with its high amount of total phenolics of 130.17 mg gallic acid equivalents (GAE) per gram dry weight and total flavonoid of 866.15 mg rutin equivalents (RE) per gram dry weight. Eight phenolic compounds were identified in the Royalty extract of 60 DAFB as caffeic acid, eriodictyol rhamnoside, phloretin hexoside I, coumaroyl guinic acid, quercetin hexoside, phloretin hexoside II, quercetin pentoside and quercetin rhamnoside. These findings suggest that Royalty could be potentially used as a promising source of natural antioxidants in the development of functional foods.

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