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Importance of the phytochemical content of fruits and vegetables to human health

  • Ingenierie Postrecolte / Postharvest Engineering


Purpose of review: Numerous studies have identified a significant inverse association between fruit and vegetable consumption and the incidence of many diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and vision diseases. Phytochemicals contained in plant foods play important roles in disease prevention. This article reviews the importance of certain major phytochemicals, their possible mechanisms of action and the effects of certain physical treatments on the phytochemical content of fruits and vegetables.Recent findings: Every year, numerous scientific publications, science books and even articles and advertisements for the general public appear on the positive effects of a specific phytochemical or combination of phytochemicals. However, published books, articles, sayings and rumours about undemonstrated effects of fruits and vegetables are still widely available. It is important to distinguish between these kinds of information and to continue to dismiss or demonstrate these effects. The present article is based only on scientific demonstrations of the effects of phytochemicals on human or animal health.Directions for future research: An increasing number of convincing studies show the benefits of the phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables. It is very important to understand their functions and to promote increased fruit and vegetable intake. Since a wide variety of horticultural produce contains high concentrations of several specific classes of phytochemicals, maintaining a diet that contains a variety of fruits and vegetables will help the world's population achieve the combined benefits of the phytochemicals. There is still a significant need for further investigation into their potential benefits and mechanisms of action, as well as for development of the best commercial-scale treatments for postharvest produce to improve phytochemical content.
Stewart Postharvest Review
An international journal for reviews in postharvest biology and technology
© 2007 Stewart Postharvest Solutions (UK) Ltd.
Online ISSN:1945-9656
Importance of the phytochemical content of fruits and vegetables to
human health
Limei Chen1, Clément Vigneault1,2*, GS Vijaya Raghavan1, Stan Kubow3
1Department of Bioresource Engineering, Macdonald Campus, McGill University, 21111 Lakeshore Road, Sainte-Anne-de-
Bellevue, Quebec, Canada
2Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Gouin Boulevard, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Canada
3School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, McGill University, 21111 Lakeshore Road, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec, Canada
Purpose of review: Numerous studies have identified a significant inverse association between fruit and vegetable consumption and
the incidence of many diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and vision diseases. Phytochemicals
contained in plant foods play important roles in disease prevention. This article reviews the importance of certain major phytochemi-
cals, their possible mechanisms of action and the effects of certain physical treatments on the phytochemical content of fruits and vege-
Recent findings: Every year, numerous scientific publications, science books and even articles and advertisements for the general pub-
lic appear on the positive effects of a specific phytochemical or combination of phytochemicals. However, published books, articles,
sayings and rumours about undemonstrated effects of fruits and vegetables are still widely available. It is important to distinguish be-
tween these kinds of information and to continue to dismiss or demonstrate these effects. The present article is based only on scientific
demonstrations of the effects of phytochemicals on human or animal health.
Directions for future research: An increasing number of convincing studies show the benefits of the phytochemicals in fruits and
vegetables. It is very important to understand their functions and to promote increased fruit and vegetable intake. Since a wide variety
of horticultural produce contains high concentrations of several specific classes of phytochemicals, maintaining a diet that contains a
variety of fruits and vegetables will help the world’s population achieve the combined benefits of the phytochemicals. There is still a
significant need for further investigation into their potential benefits and mechanisms of action, as well as for development of the best
commercial-scale treatments for postharvest produce to improve phytochemical content.
Keywords: phytochemical; fruit; vegetable; physical treatment
CA Controlled Atmosphere
MAP Modified Atmosphere Packaging
UV Ultraviolet
CVD Cardiovascular Disease
LDL Low-density Lipoprotein
UTI Urinary Tract Infection
*Correspondence to: Clément Vigneault, Agriculture and Agri-
Food Canada 430 Gouin Boulevard, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu,
Quebec, Canada J3B 3E6. email:
Stewart Postharvest Review 2007, 3: 2
Published online 01 June 2007
doi: 10.2212/spr.2007.3.2
Phytochemicals, also known as phytonutrients, are non-
nutritive plant chemicals that have protective or disease-
preventive properties. These complex molecules are found
in most foods, especially in fruits and vegetables. Numerous
epidemiological studies have shown that there is a consider-
able association between fruit and vegetable consumption
and low risk of many diseases. It was once assumed that
vitamins and minerals played a significant role in disease
prevention; however, recent studies indicate that phyto-
chemicals can make a much greater contribution than vita-
mins or other nutrients. Phytochemicals are associated with
the prevention of certain chronic diseases, including cardio-
vascular diseases (CVDs), cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis
and vision diseases, which are especially severe in Western
Chen et al. / Stewart Postharvest Review 2007, 3:2
countries. These diseases are mainly attributed to a high-fat
and high-sugar diet, lack of exercise, smoking and other un-
healthy lifestyles.
Fruit and vegetable consumption is inversely associated with
the incidence of many types of cancer [1, 2], including stom-
ach, colon, breast, lung and prostate cancers. Phytochemicals
in fruits and vegetables are mostly responsible for a protective
effect against these diseases. It appears that there are many
possible ways to affect cancer development. Most cancers re-
sult from the interaction of carcinogens or oxidants with DNA.
The strong antioxidant ability of phytochemicals appears to
reduce this damage [3]. Furthermore, phytochemicals inhibit
phase I enzymes, which initiate carcinogenesis, thus reducing
the risk of carcinogenesis, and they also induce phase II en-
zymes, which detoxify and excrete carcinogens, resulting in
less DNA damage and preventing carcinogenesis initiation [4,
5]. Also, phytochemicals can reduce the rate of cancer spread
by slowing the proliferation of cancer cells [6, 7].
The benefits of phytochemicals in terms of CVDs such as
coronary heart disease and stroke have been identified by
many studies [8, 9]. The mechanism of action may be the
ability of some phytochemicals to inhibit the synthesis of
low-density lipoproteins (LDLs), components that are be-
lieved to contain “bad” cholesterol. When cholesterol is at a
high level, it becomes a key factor in the development of
most CVDs. Some phytochemicals have been shown to have
an anti-inflammatory function. Inflammation involves the
secretion of oxidants and aggregation of platelets, which ini-
tiate blood clotting [10, 11] and thereby induce stroke. As a
result, certain phytochemicals prevent strokes from occurring
by reducing inflammation or inhibiting clot formation.
Thousands of phytochemicals have been identified in fruits
and vegetables, and they are grouped into several classes
according to their chemical structure and biological activity
(Table 1). The classification, however, is still quite contro-
versial. Although the importance of the individual phyto-
chemical classes will be discussed in the following section,
the benefits of phytochemicals to human health are the result
of synergistic effects.
Some major phytochemicals
Carotenoids are widespread plant pigments that contribute to
the yellow, orange and red colours of fruits and vegetables.
Over 600 different carotenoids have been identified to date.
Of those, about 50 can be converted to Vitamin A. It is esti-
mated that approximately 60% of dietary vitamin A comes
from plant food sources [12], and the interest in obtaining
vitamin A from fruits and vegetables keeps growing. Vitamin
A hypervitaminosis cannot be caused by excessive intake of
carotenoids, since they convert to vitamin A only when it is
needed in the body. Additionally, carotenoids are well known
for their antioxidant property, which is associated with a re-
duction in the risk of several cancers, CVDs, macular degen-
eration and cataracts, as well as enhancement of the immune
system [13, 14].
Beta-carotene, which has the highest provitamin A activity, is
found mainly in orange-coloured fruits and vegetables and
dark green leafy vegetables, including carrots, pumpkin,
sweet potato, apricot, spinach and kale [15]. In addition, beta-
carotene may protect the skin from ultraviolet (UV) irradia-
tion [16]. Hundreds of studies have shown that people who
eat more beta-carotene-rich fruits and vegetables have lower
risks of cancer or heart disease [17].
Lycopene is a red carotenoid found in tomato, watermelon,
pink grapefruit and other red fruits, and it has been recog-
nised as the most effective antioxidant in the family of caro-
tenoids. Many animal and human studies have shown that
lycopene has a protective effect against carcinogens in the
liver, brain, colon, breast, cervix and prostate, therefore pre-
venting or delaying certain types of cancer [18–21]. In addi-
tion, lycopene has a preventive effect against coronary heart
disease [22].
Some specific carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin that
are contained in green and yellow leafy vegetables can play
an important role in reducing the risk of age-related macular
degeneration and cataracts, the most common causes of vis-
ual impairment in North America [23]. Lutein and zeaxanthin
are the only carotenoids that accumulate in the macula of the
human retina, which may contribute to their association with
prevention of eye diseases.
Flavonoids are a group of phenolic compounds that includes
anthocyanins, catechins, flavanones, flavones, isoflavones
and flavonols. More than 4,000 flavonoids have been identi-
fied, and they are widely found in fruits and vegetables,
mostly concentrated in berries, citrus fruit, broccoli, cabbage,
cucumber, green pepper, etc. Flavonoids have been shown to
have a wide range of benefits to human health, such as the
ability to prevent cancers, cardiovascular disorders, urinary
tract infections (UTIs) and other degenerative diseases [24–
26]. These protective effects of flavonoids against diseases
Phytochemical class Major phytochemicals
Terpenoids Carotenoids, saponins, limonoids
Phenolics Flavonoids, phenolic acids, tannins, lignans
Organosulphur compounds Glucosinolates, isothiocyanates, indoles
Alkaloids and nitrogen-
containing compounds
Piperidine, pyrrolidine, quinoline
Table 1. Classification of phytochemicals.
Chen et al. / Stewart Postharvest Review 2007, 3:2
may be associated mainly with their strong antioxidant prop-
erty [27, 28], as well as with other biological properties, in-
cluding action against allergies, inflammation, free radicals,
hepatotoxins, platelet aggregation, bacteria, viruses, ulcers
and tumours [29].
Anthocyanins are red pigments in cherry and strawberry, as
well as blue pigments in blueberry. The antioxidant property
of anthocyanins is mainly due to free-radical scavenging in
biological systems. This ability might be beneficial to ath-
letes because heavy exercise can increase oxygen utilisation,
resulting in a significant increase in free radical generation
[30]. It is well known that free radicals are responsible for
damaging important cellular components such as DNA and
the cell membrane; however, studies are still controversial
regarding whether antioxidant supplementation can lessen
exercise-induced oxidative stress [31]. In addition, antho-
cyanins are involved in the treatment of capillary fragility
Proanthocyanidins are found in berries, especially cranberry,
blueberry, blackberry and black raspberry. They have been
shown to have a function of reducing the risk of UTIs, which
develop when bacteria are introduced into the urinary tract
and stick to tissues in the body. Proanthocyanidins and cer-
tain other flavonoids have the ability to bind to cell walls,
thus preventing the adhesion of bacteria to tissues. Some
studies have also indicated that cranberry is effective in de-
creasing the congregation of certain substances that cause
tooth decay, thereby improving dental health [33]. Another
study has shown that consumption of cranberry juice inhibits
excessive platelet aggregation, which leads to blood vessel
blockage [34].
Quercetin is one of the key flavonols, which are the most
widespread flavonoids in foods, and is mainly contained in
apple skin, red onion and red grape. Quercetin is one of the
best antihistamines for relieving allergy symptoms and may
also interact with specific carcinogens in the gastrointestinal
tract [35]. Many studies have found an inverse association
between quercetin intake and coronary heart disease, which
may be attributed to the actions of preventing LDL oxidation,
reducing damage to DNA and inhibiting platelet aggregation
Glucosinolates are a group of organosulphur compounds that
can be transformed into isothiocyanates and indoles. Vegeta-
bles such as cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels
sprout account for the bulk of glucosinolate consumption.
Indoles, which are found in cabbage, broccoli and other cru-
ciferous vegetables, are known to have anticarcinogenic
properties, as well as a detoxification ability. Indole-3-
carbinol, one of the indole derivatives, is an inhibitor of
chemically-induced cancer [39], mostly because it can boost
carcinogen metabolism capacity [40]. In addition, indole-3-
carbinol can activate cytochrome P450 enzymes, which have
been shown to metabolise oestrogen [41], and can therefore
markedly reduce breast and uterine cancers.
Isothiocyanates are widely distributed in cruciferous vegeta-
bles, such as watercress, broccoli and radish. It has been re-
ported that isothiocyanates can activate phase II detoxifica-
tion enzymes and suppress phase I cancer-promoting en-
zymes, actions that may contribute to the inhibition of tu-
morigenesis [42]. One study has shown that watercress con-
sumption accelerates excretion of a pulmonary carcinogen
that is one of the causes of lung cancer in smokers [43]. In
addition to reducing the risk of lung cancer, isothiocyanates
have also been shown to have a preventive effect against tu-
mours in other organs, including the mammary gland, liver,
bladder, oesophagus, pancreas and colon [42, 44].
Effects of physical treatments on phytochemi-
cals in fruits and vegetables
With the public’s growing awareness of environmental is-
sues, many environmentally friendly technologies aimed at
improving the quality of agricultural produce, including heat
treatment, modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), controlled
atmosphere (CA) storage, UV irradiation and other chemical-
free treatments, have been studied. Many studies have re-
ported that such treatments also positively affect the levels of
phytochemicals in postharvest produce.
Numerous studies have shown that the application of heat
treatment, such as exposure to hot dry air, hot water dipping
or hot water drenching, has a beneficial effect in terms of
reducing decay development, chilling injury and superficial
scald. Certain studies have also reported the effect of heat
treatment on the phytochemical content of produce. In to-
mato, melon and mango, for example, hot water treatment (at
35°C for 12 h, 45°C for 3 h and 55°C for 5 min) has been
reported to delay anthocyanin synthesis and thus protect the
red colour pigment in postharvest produce [45–47].
Low doses of UV irradiation elicit pathogen resistance in
fruits and vegetables and generate clear increases in stress-
response compounds such as phenols, flavonoids and phy-
toalexins [48–50]. For example, it has been suggested that
UV treatment could be used to increase the levels of resvera-
trol in grape [51], flavanones in citrus fruit [48] and antho-
cyanins in peach [52]. Also, research has determined that
anthocyanins and quercetin, found in strawberry and onion,
are enhanced by UV irradiation after harvest [53].
Atmosphere modifications, such as CA storage and MAP,
have been recognised as an effective method for improving
the quality of postharvest produce and have been widely ap-
plied. Furthermore, altered gas composition treatment also
affects the phytochemical content of fruits and vegetables.
For example, CA storage of mature pepino fruit using high
CO2 concentrations (15% for 2 days followed by 5% for 19
Chen et al. / Stewart Postharvest Review 2007, 3:2
days) maintained the chlorophyll and beta-carotene contents.
However, continuous high CO2 concentrations (15% for 14
days) resulted in a significant decrease in chlorophyll and
beta-carotene [54]. It has also been shown that the glucosi-
nolate content increased in broccoli stored under CA for 7
days, while the absence of O2 with a 20% CO2 concentration
caused a decrease in this phytochemical [55].
The above findings generally indicate that suitable treatments
applied postharvest could have a positive effect on the phyto-
chemical content of fruits and vegetables. However, inappro-
priate treatments would reduce the health benefit properties
of the produce. Detailed discussions about specific treatment
are presented in the same journal issue in separate review
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© 2007 Published by Stewart Postharvest Solutions (UK) Ltd. All rights
... Carotenoids are the plant pigments that provide the red, yellow and orange colour to fruits. Approximately 600 carotenoids have been identified to date, out of which, around 50 get transformed into vitamin A [15]. Other than this, carotenoids are also known for their antioxidant potential and claimed for reducing the risk of diseases like cancer, cataracts, cardiovascular and macular degeneration. ...
... Furthermore, flavonoids are a group of phenolic compounds encompassing anthocyanins, flavanones, catechins, flavonols, flavones and isoflavones. To date, approximately 4000 flavonoids have been identified, and these flavonoids are dominantly found in citrus fruits and berries [15]. Published literature related to flavonoids has revealed that they have a myriad of benefits on humans like the potential to prevent cardiovascular disorders, cancers, urinary tract infections (UTIs) and other degenerative diseases [22][23][24]. ...
... In addition to that, anthocyanins have been claimed to show to antioxidant potential in a biological system. Blackberry, Blueberry, Black raspberry and cranberry contain flavonoid proanthocyanidins, which have a substantial role in reducing the chances of UTIs [15]. The different phytochemicals obtained from fruits are used as a capping agent in NPs synthesis, and their biological applications in humans have been illustrated in Table 1. ...
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... Methods such as infrared vacuum, freeze drying, spray drying and convective drying also have disadvantages such as color changes, high cost, complicated preparation, low energy efficiency and long drying time (Alibas, 2007;Corrêa et al., 2016;Junquera and Erneato, 2017;Ghaboos et al., 2016;Que et al., 2008;RoongruangsriI and Bronlund, 2016). Heat pump drying (HPD) is a common approach with such advantages as low drying temperatures, easy operation even under humid conditions, and minimum environmental pollution (Chen et al., 2007). However, the cost of electrical energy needed to use HPD is much higher than that other forms of energy (Daghigh et al., 2010). ...
... The results indicate that applying a heat pump with the dryer enhances drying rate and shortens drying period by 40%. Prolonged drying can easily cause serious damage to the cells and speed up the loss of nutrients (Chen et al., 2007). ...
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Purpose To reduce energy consumption, the time needed of drying, and the loss of ß -carotene content, and ascorbic acid content, response surface methodology (RSM) was employed for optimization. Design/methodology/approach To reduce energy consumption, the time needed of drying, and the loss of ß -carotene content, and ascorbic acid content, response surface methodology (RSM) was employed for optimization. Findings The results show that the optimum solar-assisted heat pump drying (SAHPD) conditions for drying pumpkin slice were: drying temperature of 67.40 °C, loading density of 1.05 kg/m ³ , and material thickness of 4 mm. Under these conditions, slice of pumpkin were dried in 440.637 min, where the unit energy consumption, ascorbic acid content, and ß -carotene content were 16.737 kJ/g, 25.682 mg/ (100–g dried sample), and 10.202 mg/g, respectively. The structure of the samples dried using the optimized SAHPD method exhibited a more complete cell morphology than those dried using heat pump drying when examined using scanning electronic microscopy. Originality/value This suggests that the optimized SAHPD conditions used in this study are important for production and processing.
... Fruit pectin and fructose improve the consistency and viscosity of yogurt and therefore the mouthfeel is improved. Pectins are added to acidified dairy products to avoid syneresis [50]. Pectin is absorbed irreversibly on casein leading to an increase in steric repulsion, and thus decreasing its aggregation power [51,52]. ...
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Introduction: Increasing the shelf life of foods without the addition of synthetic additives is a demand from both producers and consumers. Spore-forming bacteria are a problem in the food industry. To reduce their impact, it is necessary to use complex technologies, as well as ingredients with antibacterial or antibiotic properties. The aim of this study was to develop initial symbiotic combinations between lactic acid bacteria and berries to control food quality. The relevant ability of lactic acid bacteria in the presence of berry additives to inhibit the growth of Bacillus strains that degrade bakery products and dairy products was investigated. The antibacterial effect of berries on the growth of Bacillus mesentericus was studied. Methods: In this study was used inhibition zone test, also called Kirby-Bauer Test. The growth rate of bacteria was based on the measurement of the optical density at 600 nm (OD600). The method of Thompson et al. has been used to research the development of ropiness disease in wheat bread samples. Results: The diameter of the Bacillus pumilus growth inhibition zones under the berries action was as follows: aronia -18.0 ± 0.6 mm; raspberry -16.0 ± 0.4 mm; strawberry -15.0 ± 0.5 mm. Lactic bacteria in the presence of berry additives showed a growth rate, measured by optical density (OD) at 600 from 0.073 to 0.651 (for aronia) from 0.071 to 0.609 (for raspberries), from 0.073 to 0.597 compared to the increase in environments without added fruit, which amounted to -0.050 to 0.410. In the yogurt with added fruit, a synergism was formed with Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. Bulgaricus, Lactococcus lactis subsp Lactis biovar diacetilactis. The influence of fat-soluble extracts of sea buckthorn, rose-hip, and hawthorn fruits on the development of ropiness disease when storing wheat bread was investigated. The general Pearson coefficient (microbial count and pH) for all fruit yogurt samples is 0.95066. Conclusion: The combined use of lactic acid bacteria and berries (aronia, raspberry and strawberry) had a synergistic effect on the risk posed by Bacillus bacteria. 1% of fat-soluble extract from the vegetable matter reduced the risk of ropiness disease in wheat bread. This is due to the cumulative effect of the berries chemical composition (antioxidants, organic acids, etc.), increased acidity, lowered pH, and water activity of the food environment, below the development values of Bacillus.
... Phytochemicals are also known as phytonutrients. They are nonnutritive plant chemicals which helps to prevents from various chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and vision disease [16]. The selected qualitative phytochemical analysis of the aqueous extracts of gluten-free cupcake power showed positive results for the presence of flavonoids, saponin, tannin, glycosides and steroid. ...
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Objective: The present study was aimed to evaluate the nutritional, phytochemical and antioxidant properties of all ratios of gluten-free composite flour-based cupcakes. Methods: Composite flour was the blend of teff millet flour (TF), navy bean flour (NF) and watermelon seeds flour (WF). The variations of three composite flours were prepared as, A being (TF: NF: WF=45:45:10), B being (TF: NF: WF=55:35:10) and C being (TF: NF: WF=65:25:10) respectively. Moisture, ash, fat, fiber, protein and carbohydrate were analyzed in this study. Minerals like calcium, iron, phosphorus and zinc were also analyzed. Results: The result of macronutrient and micronutrient of C ratio was moisture (28.1±0.2), ash (2.5±0.0), protein (12.2±0.3), fat (24.5±0.0), fiber (2.8±0.1) and carbohydrate (32.2±0.1 g/100g) respectively. Calcium (36.9±0.1), iron (7.5±0.0), zinc (3.8±0.2) and phosphorus (235.0±0.4 mg/100g) were also present in gluten-free Cupcakes. On the basis of the present study, it was found that gluten-free cupcakes contain different macro as well as micronutrients. It also has some phytochemicals such as flavonoids, saponins, tannin, glycocides and steroids. Conclusion: The study result revealed that gluten-free Cupcakes had higher phenols content as well as antioxidant activity. The overall good amount of all nutrients found in the C ratio. The sensory evaluation of Cupcakes on a 9 point hedonic scale revealed that a ratio was more acceptable than the B and C ratio. Therefore, it can be beneficial for celiac diseases, hypertension, anemia, diabetes and cancer condition.
... It contains antioxidants (Gonzalez-Molina et al., 2010;Lorente et al., 2014;Tripoli et al., 2007), vitamin C (Hounsome et al., 2008;Marti et al., 2009), vitamins, and minerals (Supraditareporn and Pinthong, 2007;Wardlaw et al., 2004). These contents are reported to reduce cancer (Wardlaw et al., 2004); obesity (Gonzalez-Molina et al., 2010) and protect human body from degenerative diseases (Chen et al., 2007). The relative abundance of these active compounds determines the contribution of specific fruit juice to improve human health. ...
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Marketability and nutritional content are critical factors that need to be considered when a quality of orange fruit is assessed. Among the many factors affecting orange fruit quality, tree age and harvesting season are crucial once; however, the factors remained unmapped. Thus, this study was aimed to explore quality of orange fruit due to differences in tree age and harvesting season. Three trees age groups (young = 10 to 16, moderate = 20 to 27 and old = greater than 30 years) grown at Gunda Gundo monastery and its surroundings, northern Ethiopia and are harvested in October and December. The physico-chemical and antioxidant contents were characterized during two consecutive years (2017–2018). R software (R version 3.6.2) was used for the analysis. The highest single fruit weight of 218.71 g, peel thickness (3.6 mm) and pH (3.73) were obtained from young tree age in 2017. Total soluble solid of 13.4° Brix was recorded from moderate tree age in 2017, while 13.3° Brix was recorded from older trees of October harvest in 2018. High rag mass of 41.78% in October of 2017 and 38.04% in December of 2018 harvest were obtained from fruits of young trees. High vitamin C (53.95 mg 100 ml⁻¹) and total sugar (11.1%) from the young trees; the highest juice mass (52.04%) from moderate trees age; and the highest phenolic content (9.15 mgGAEg⁻¹), iron-reducing power (54.2 mgAAEg⁻¹), total antioxidant (26.55 mgBHTg⁻¹) and lower DPPH EC50 value (1.5 mg ml⁻¹) from fruits of older tree were obtained. This experimental study results show that old trees age had high antioxidant activity.
... Further investigations assessed the outcomes of individual phytochemicals derived from PE. Indeed, ellagic acid, ursolic acid (10), and luteolin (11) could contribute to the inhibitory potential of PE, with an IC 50 value of 10 µM. Instead, caffeic acid seemed to be inefficient [65]. ...
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Pomegranate is an old plant made up by flowers, roots, fruits and leaves, native to Central Asia and principally cultivated in the Mediterranean and California (although now widespread almost all over the globe). The current use of this precious plant regards not only the exteriority of the fruit (employed also for ornamental purpose) but especially the nutritional and, still potential, health benefits that come out from the various parts composing this one (carpellary membranes, arils, seeds and bark). Indeed, the phytochemical composition of the fruit abounds in compounds (flavonoids, ellagitannins, proanthocyanidins, mineral salts, vitamins, lipids, organic acids) presenting a significant biological and nutraceutical value. For these reasons, pomegranate interest is increased over the years as the object of study for many research groups, particularly in the pharmaceutical sector. Specifically, in-depth studies of its biological and functional properties and the research of new formulations could be applied to a wide spectrum of diseases including neoplastic, cardiovascular, viral, inflammatory, metabolic, microbial, intestinal, reproductive and skin diseases. In this review, considering the increasing scientific and commercial interest of nutraceuticals, we reported an update of the investigations concerning the health-promoting properties of pomegranate and its bioactive compounds against principal human pathologies.
... Yogurt in combination with fruits has a functional role in the human body, due to the supply of fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, polyphenols, anthocyanins [45]. The incorporation of processed fruits into yogurt is a popular approach to increase the phenolic content and improve the antioxidant profile. ...
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Plants have impacted the lives of humans both in food and medicine. Various ethnic groups practice indigenous knowledge to cure illness and prolong the lives of human in Kalinga Tribe. Although traditional medicine is the primary health care in Kalinga, little work has been done to promote and document the Indigenous Knowledge of medicinal plants of different tribes living in this area. The study was conducted to have an ethnobotanical survey of selected of medical plants used in curing diseases in children of Kalinga Tribe. Ethnobotanical data on traditional medicines were collected. Guided field work, interview, focus group discussion and field observation were used to verify and crosscheck captured information. Qualitative and quantitative ethnobotanical methods were used to analyze the data. A total of 12 plants were reported to have medicinal uses from the study area. The study accounted the presence of medicinal plants rooted in their traditional and indigenous knowledge. It supported the occurrences of plant-based medicinal transferred through generations.
A high-pulsed electric field (HPEF) technique show potentials to reduce the drying time and energy consumption of a vacuum freeze-drying technique, which can maintain the nutritional and sensory properties of the foods. It is important to understand effects of the HPEF treatment and the optimized operation parameters on changing the mechanical properties of fruits and vegetables for improvement of the vacuum freeze-drying process. The viscoelastic properties of four types of fruits and vegetables with and without the HPEF pretreatment were studied using experimental measurements of the stress relaxation and creep of the fruits and vegetables. The stress relaxation parameters of the fruits and vegetables were estimated according to the Generalized Maxwell model. The values of the equilibrium elastic modulus (Ee) decreased more than 92%, and relaxation time (T) values decreased more than 17%, after HPEF pretreatment. The creep parameters of the fruits and vegetables were estimated according to the Burger four-parameter model. The values of the instantaneous elastic modulus (E0) decreased more than 70%, the retarded elastic modulus (Er) decreased more than 92%, and the viscosity coefficient (ηr) decreased more than 94% after the HPEF pretreatment. The results showed that the HPEF pretreatment improved the vacuum freeze-drying process.
The contribution of the UV light component on the skin coloration was determined in 'Hakuho' peach. Detached fruit partially covered with a UV-proof Polyvinylchloride (PVC) film and a polyethylene film were exposed to sunlight for 4 days. Red coloration of the fruit and anthocyanin content in the skin were considerably reduced with the UV-proof PVC film. Irradiation with a UV fluorescent lamp at 3.58 W·m-2 markedly enhanced the red color development, while white fluorescent light at 120 μmol·m -2·s-1 did not affect the coloration. UV irradiation also increased the anthocyanin content in the cultured skin discs with increasing irradiance up to above 7.3 W·m-2. These results suggest that the UV component contributes significantly to the enhancement of the fruit coloration by sunlight exposure.
There is currently much interest in phytochemicals as bioactive components of food. The roles of fruit, vegetables and red wine in disease prevention have been attributed, in part, to the antioxidant properties of their constituent polyphenols (vitamins E and C, and the carotenoids). Recent studies have shown that many dietary polyphenolic constituents derived from plants are more effective antioxidants in vitro than vitamins E or C, and thus might contribute significantly to the protective effects in vivo. It is now possible to establish the antioxidant activities of plant-derived flavonoids in the aqueous and lipophilic phases, and to assess the extent to which the total antioxidant potentials of wine and tea can be accounted for by the activities of individual polyphenols.
Content of total and individual glucosinolates were determined in, 'Marathon' broccoli florets (Brassica olerucea L. var. italica stored 7 days at 10C under air, 0.5% O 2, 0.5% O2 + 20% CO2 or 20% CO2 atmosphere, followed by transfer to air for 2 days. 'Marathon' broccoli contained glucoraphanin, glucobrassicin, neoglucobrassicin, glucoiberin, 4- methoxyglucobrassicin, progoitrin, glucoalyssin, and gluconasturtiin. The methylssulfinylalkylglucosinolates (glucoiberin and glucoraphanin) and the indol-3-ylmethylglucosinolates (glucobrassicin, neoglucobrassicin and 4- methoxyglucobrassicin) accounted for 78% and 20% of the total content, respectively, in freshly harvested broccoli. CA treatment and storage time had no significant effect on the relative content of these two groups of glucosinolates. Freshly harvested broccoli contained 47 µmol glucosinolate/g dry weight. The total glucosinolate content increased 42% and 21% during 7 days storage under air and 0.5% O2 + 20% CO2, respectively, as compared to freshly harvested broccoli, and decreased 15% in broccoli stored under 20% CO2. Treatment with 20% CO2 in the absence of 0, resulted in visible CO, injury and water soaking of the tissue. Aeration had no significant effect on total glucosinolate content but reduced the glucobrassicin content 35% in broccoli stored 7 days under 0.5% O 2 + 20% CO2 or 20% CO2atmosphere. In contrast, the 4-methoxyglucobrassicin content increased during storage under low O2 atmosphere and increased further after transfer to air.
A diet rich in carotenoid-containing foods is associated with a number of health benefits. Lycopene provides the familiar red color to tomato products and is one of the major carotenoids in the diet of North Americans and Europeans. Interest in lycopene is growing rapidly following the recent publication of epidemiologic studies implicating lycopene in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancers of the prostate or gastrointestinal tract. Lycopene has unique structural and chemical features that may contribute to specific biological properties. Data concerning lycopene bioavailability, tissue distribution, metabolism, excretion, and biological actions in experimental animals and humans are beginning to accumulate although much additional research is necessary. This review will summarize our knowledge in these areas as well as the associations between lycopene consumption and human health.