Comparative effects of gamma and electron beam irradiation on the antioxidant potential of Portuguese chestnuts (Castanea sativa Mill.).

CIMO/Escola Superior Agrária, Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, Apartado 1172, 5301-855 Bragança, Portugal.
Food and chemical toxicology: an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association (Impact Factor: 2.99). 07/2012; 50(10):3452-5. DOI: 10.1016/j.fct.2012.07.041
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Chestnuts (Castanea sativa Mill.) are widely consumed all over the world, and have been recently studied for their antioxidant potential. The present study reports the effect of e-beam and gamma radiation (doses of 0, 0.5, 1 and 3kGy) on the antioxidant potential of Portuguese chestnuts. Irradiation might be an alternative preservation method, since Methyl Bromide, a widely used fumigant, was banished by the European Union in 2010 due to its toxicity. The antioxidant activity was evaluated through 2,2-diphenyl-1-pycrylhydrazyl (DPPH) free radical scavenging activity assay, reducing power by the Ferricyanide/Prussian blue assay, and lipid peroxidation inhibition by β-carotene/linoleate and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) assays. The analysis of total phenolics and flavonoids was performed by spectrophotometric assays. Irradiated samples preserved total phenolics content (but not flavonoids) and revealed higher antioxidant activity (lower EC(50) values) than the control samples. The most indicated doses to maintain antioxidants content, and to increase antioxidant activity were 1 and 3kGy for electron beam and gamma radiation, respectively.

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    ABSTRACT: Since 2010, methyl bromide, a widely used fumigant was banned from the European Union under the Montreal Protocol guidelines, due to its deleterious effects on health and risk to the environment. Since then, many alternatives for chestnut conservation have been studied (hot water dip treatment being the most common), among them, electron beam irradiation has been proposed as being a safe, clean and cheap alternative. Herein, the effects of this radiation at different doses up to 6 kGy and over storage up to 60 days in the amounts and profile of nutritionally important organic acids were evaluated. Chestnuts contained important organic acids with quinic and citric acids as main compounds. Storage time, which is traditionally well accepted by consumers, caused a slight decrease on quinic (13 to 9 mg/g), ascorbic (1.2 to 0.8 mg/g), malic (5 to 4 mg/g), fumaric (0.4 to 0.3 mg/g) and total organic (33 to 26 mg/g) acids content. Otherwise, irradiation dose did not cause appreciable changes, either individually or in total (28 to 27 mg/g) organic acid contents. Electron beam irradiation might constitute a valuable alternative for chestnut conservation.
    Food and chemical toxicology: an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association 01/2013; · 2.99 Impact Factor

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