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Nutritional evaluation of fresh and dried goji berries cultivated in Italy


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The nutritional profile of fresh and dried goji berries cultivated in Italy was investigated. The obtained data confirm goji berries as a source of nutritional and healthy components, such as vitamin E, minerals and fibre. Taking into account the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for minerals and vitamins established by the Commission of the European Communities, Goji berries provide significant amounts of dietary fibre and zeaxanthin and can be declared on the label as a potential source of vitamins E and C. Moreover, dried goji berries can be declared as a source of K, P, Cu, Fe Mn, Zn.
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Ital. J. Food Sci., vol 29, 2017 - 398
Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Food Sciences, University of Molise, Via F. De Sanctis, 86100
Campobasso, Italy
*Corresponding author.
The nutritional profile of fresh and dried goji berries cultivated in Italy was investigated.
The obtained data confirm goji berries as a source of nutritional and healthy components,
such as vitamin E, minerals and fibre. Taking into account the Recommended Daily
Allowance (RDA) for minerals and vitamins established by the Commission of the
European Communities, Goji berries provide significant amounts of dietary fibre and
zeaxanthin and can be declared on the label as a potential source of vitamins E and C.
Moreover, dried goji berries can be declared as a source of K, P, Cu, Fe Mn, Zn.
Keywords: goji berries, Lycium barbarum, superfruit, wolfberries
Ital. J. Food Sci., vol 29, 2017 - 399
Fruits of Lycium barbarum L., belonging to Solanaceae family, commonly known as goji
berries or wolfberries, have been used in Chinese traditional medicine for centuries.
Lycium barbarum grows in China, Tibet and other parts of Asia and its fruits are 1-2 cm-
long, bright orange-red ellipsoid berries. The native area of Lycium is not definitively
established but it is likely found in the Mediterranean Basin (POTTERAT, 2010).
Traditionally, goji berries are collected in summer and autumn. The fruits can be eaten
fresh or dried, and they are also found in conventional food products, such as yoghurt,
fruit juices, bakery foods, chocolate and others (MIKULIC-PETKOVSEK et al., 2012a,
2012b). The drying process is intended to remove water from foodstuff in order to prevent
microbial spoilage and chemical alterations, thus prolonging shelf life, while realizing
space and weight saving (CINQUANTA et al., 2010; CUCCURULLO et al., 2012;
FRATIANNI et al, 2013). Traditionally, the berries are dried in the shade until the skin
shrinks and then exposed to the sun until the outer skin becomes dry and hard but the
pulp is still soft (AMAGASE and FARNSWORTH, 2011). The sun drying method is cheap,
but there is a risk of damage due to dust and insect infestation. An alternative is hot air
drying. Today the goji fruit market is significantly expanding because of an increased
awareness of the possible health benefits, as fruits contain different nutrients, such as
polysaccharide complexes, organic acids, phenolic compounds and antioxidants with high
biological activity. Dietary fibre provides several health benefits, including the reduction
of the risk of coronary heart disease, of diabetes, hypertension, obesity, stroke and some
gastrointestinal disorders (EFSA, 2010). Recent studies indicate that polysaccharides from
Lycium barbarum possess a range of biological activities, including antioxidant properties
(AMAGASE and NANCE, 2008; CHANG and SO, 2008). Goji fruits constitute a variety of
antioxidants such as ascorbic acid, different carotenoids (KULCZYŃSKI and GRAMZA-
MICHAŁOWSKA, 2016) and high levels of phenolic compounds (ZHANG et al., 2016).
Carotenoids are a significant group of biologically-active constituents with health
promoting properties (AMAGASE et al., 2009; DONNO et al., 2014) responsible for the
colour of a wide variety of foods (FRATIANNI et al., 2005).
The reddish-orange colour of L. barbarum fruits derives from a group of carotenoids, which
make up only 0.03–0.5 % of the dried fruit. Zeaxanthin is the major carotenoid found in
goji. This is a yellow pigment, an isomer of lutein and a derivative of β-carotene. When
ingested, zeaxanthin accumulates in fatty tissues, but especially in the macula, a region of
the retina, helping in protecting the macula from degeneration, which can be induced by
excessive sun exposure (UV light) and by other oxidative processes. In goji, zeaxanthin is
present as an ester of dipalmitate. Studies focusing on carotenoid goji berries are few and
mainly aimed at the identification and quantification of ester-form carotenoids. INBARAJ
et al. (2008) and ZHAO et al. (2013), in particular, identified free-forms and ester-forms of
carotenoids. Beta-carotene, neoxanthin, and cryptoxanthin are also present at low
concentrations (PENG et al., 2005; WANG et al., 2010). Regarding other antioxidants,
studies made on Lycium chinense Miller reported high amounts of α-tocopherol, together
with other vitamin E compounds (ISABELLE et al., 2010). Vitamin E is a generic term
indicating structurally related compounds, namely tocols, comprising two groups of
vitamers, i.e. tocopherols and tocotrienols, which occur in eight forms: α-tocopherol (α-T),
β-tocopherol (β-T), γ-tocopherol (γ-T), and δ-tocopherol (δ-T) and α-tocotrienol (α-T3), β-
tocotrienol (β-T3), γ-tocotrienol (γ-T3), and δ-tocotrienol (δ-T3). The potential health
benefits of tocols have been the subject of several reviews (TIWARI and CUMMINS, 2009).
Vegetable oils are the main tocol source; however, substantial amounts of these
compounds are also reported in most cereal grains (FRATIANNI et al., 2013; MIGNOGNA
Ital. J. Food Sci., vol 29, 2017 - 400
et al., 2015; PANFILI et al., 2003). To our knowledge, no literature data are available on the
composition and content of tocols in L. barbarum fruits. Goji is also an extremely rich
source of many essential minerals, which are essential for many actions in the body, like
muscle contraction, normal heart rhythm, nerve impulse conduction, oxygen transport,
oxidative phosphorylation, enzyme activation, immune functions, antioxidant activity,
bone health, and acid-base balance of the blood (WILLIAMS, 2005; SALDAML and
SAĞLAM, 2007). An adequate daily amount of minerals is necessary for an optimal
functioning of the body. For the above reported reasons, goji berries are often proposed as
functional foods and have been included in the novel category of “superfruits” or
Superfruits, a subcategory of superfoods, is a relatively recent word and is considered a
new marketing approach to promoting common or rare fruits which can be consumed as
foodstuffs or used as ingredients by manufacturers of functional foods, beverages and
nutraceuticals. Superfruits have a high nutritional value due to their richness in nutrients,
antioxidants, proven or potential health benefits and taste appeal (FELZENSZWALB,
2013). In the functional foods market, the products targeting health and mental well-being
have prompted the food industry to increase the research and the development of these
new foods, outlining a rapid expansion market in several countries (VICENTINI et al.,
2016). In the last years, goji berries have been cultivated in Italy and are available both as
fresh and dried fruits. While several papers on the medical effect of goji berries have been
published, little information is available on the nutritional composition of dried and,
above all, fresh goji berries. The aim of the present study is therefore to determine the
compositional and nutritional value of fresh and dried goji berries cultivated in Italy, with
a particular focus on minerals and some antioxidant compounds, such as carotenoids,
tocols and vitamin C, to increase the awareness about their nutritional profile.
2.1. Sample collection and preparation
Fresh goji berries (L. barbarum L.) were provided by Favella Spa farm (Sibari, Southern
Italy). The farm has 21000 plants in 5 Ha (2.5 m x 1 m), with a drip irrigation system. Goji
berries were cultivated in two consecutively growing seasons (2014 and 2015) and were
collected in July. All harvested fruits were randomly collected in the orchard from
different plants and analysed fresh and air-dried. Fresh goji berries (about 1 cm size) were
subjected to freeze-drying before analyses, as reported by FRATIANNI et al., 2013 (fresh
fruits). One-half of collected goji berries were air-dried in a convective dryer
(B80FCV/E6L3, Termaks, Norway), at 60 °C, with an air velocity of 2.1 m/s, until a
constant weight was reached (dried fruits). The drying time was about 21 h.
Results are reported as the average of the two growing seasons (2014-2015).
2.3 Proximate composition analysis
Fresh and dried fruits were analysed for moisture, ash, fat, and protein (N×6.25) contents,
according to standard methods of AOAC (2000). Dietary fibre content was determined
according to AOAC method 991.43 (1995) and AACC method 32-07 (1995). Total dietary
fibre content was the sum of insoluble and soluble dietary fibre content. Vitamin C was
determined by using an enzymatic kit (Megazyme International, Ireland), following the
manufacturer instructions.
Ital. J. Food Sci., vol 29, 2017 - 401
2.4. Mineral analysis
Ultrapure nitric acid for trace analysis, sulfuric acid (96 %) and standard mono elements in
nitric acid 2 % were purchased from Sigma-Aldrich (20151 Milan, Italy). The
determination of metals (K, Ca, Co, Cu, Fe, Mg, Mn, Mo, Na, P, Se, Zn) in goji samples was
carried out by using the technique of nitric mineralization and the analysis by
spectrophotometry plasma emission (Varian ICP 710, OES Inductively Coupled Plasma-
Optical Emission Spectrometers, Palo Alto, CA 94304-1038). Samples were ground and 0.5
g was digested with 10 ml of nitric acid with a mineralizer (SCP Science DIGIprep, Quebec
H9X 4B6, Canada), with the following instrumental conditions: start at 40 °C for 15
minutes; heating at 60 °C for 15 minutes; stay at 60 °C for 15 minutes; heating to 90 °C for
20 minutes. The digested samples were cooled and brought to a volume of 50 ml with
bidistilled water and analysed with the optical ICP. The precision was calculated as a
mean deviation of three measurements.
2.5. Carotenoid extraction and determination
Carotenoid extraction was carried out using the direct solvent extraction method reported
in FRATIANNI et al. (2013) with slight modifications due to the complex structure of goji
berries. About 0.1 g of milled freeze-dried samples (fresh fruit) and air-dried samples
(dried fruit) was weighed and placed in a screw-capped tube. Then, 5 ml of ethanolic
pyrogallol (60 g/L) was added as an antioxidant. The sample was stirred for 10 minutes.
After that, 2 ml of absolute ethanol was added and the sample was stirred again for a few
minutes. The suspension was then extracted with 15 mL of n-hexane/ethyl acetate (9:1
v/v) and stirred; after that 15 mL of sodium chloride (10 g/L) was added. Further
extractions with n-hexane/ethyl acetate (9:1 v/v) were made until the organic layer was
colourless. Finally, the organic layer was collected and evaporated to dryness, and the dry
residue was dissolved in methanol: MTBE 50:50 (v/v). This sample was used to determine
the free carotenoids not esterified with the lipid components and carotenoids esterified
with fatty acids (unsaponified). A volume of 2 ml of this extract was evaporated to dryness
and subjected to alkaline hydrolysis under a nitrogen flux for 1 minute in a screw-capped
tube with 1 ml of ethanolic pyrogallol (60 g/L), 10 ml of solvent HEAT (hexane: ethanol:
acetone: toluene 10: 6: 7: 7 v/v/v/v), 2 ml of methanolic KOH (40 %) and glass balls. The
tubes were placed in a 56 °C water bath and mixed every 5 to 10 min. After alkaline
digestion at 56 °C for 20 minutes, the tubes were cooled in an ice bath, and 15 mL of
sodium chloride (10 g/L) were added. The suspension was then extracted with 15 mL of
n-hexane/ethyl acetate (9:1 v/v) until the organic layer was colourless. The organic layer
was collected and evaporated to dryness, and the dry residue was dissolved in methanol:
MTBE 50:50 (v/v). This sample was used to determine carotenoids esterified with lipid
components (saponified). An aliquot of the carotenoid extract was separated, as in
MOULY et al. (1999), by a reverse-phase HPLC system. An HPLC Dionex (Sunnyvale, CA)
analytical system, consisting of U3000 pumps, and an injector loop (Rheodyne, Cotati)
were used. Separation was performed as in FRATIANNI et al. (2013) by using a YMC
(Hampsted, NC, USA) stainless steel column (250×4.6 mm i.d.) packed with 5 &m silica
spheres that were chemically bonded with a C30 material at a flow rate of 1 mL/min. The
mobile phase was methanol: MTBE (v/v). The eluted compounds were monitored by a
photo-diode array detector (Dionex, Sunnyvale) set at 430 nm.
Ital. J. Food Sci., vol 29, 2017 - 402
2.6. Carotenoid identification and quantification
Carotenoids were identified on the basis of their diode array spectral characteristics,
retention times, and relative elution order, compared with known commercially available
standards. All-trans-β-carotene and lutein were from Sigma Chemicals (St. Luis, MO,
USA); zeaxanthin and β-cryptoxanthin were obtained from Extrasynthese (Z.I. Lyon-
Nord, Genay, France). Zeaxanthin dipalmitate was identified by means of its spectral
characteristics found in literature (INBARAJ et al., 2008). Compounds were identified by
comparison of their retention times with those of known available standard solutions and
quantified on the basis of the calibration curves of standard solutions. Zeaxanthin
dipalmitate was quantified as zeaxanthin.
2.7. Tocol analysis
Tocols were determined after the saponification method of the extract described for
carotenoids. An aliquot of the carotenoid extract was collected and evaporated to dryness,
and the dry residue was dissolved in 2 ml of isopropyl alcohol (1 %) in n-hexane and was
analysed by HPLC under normal phase conditions, using a 250 x 4.6 mm i.d., 5 mm
particle size, and Kromasil Phenomenex Si column (Torrance, CA, USA) (PANFILI et al.,
2003). Fluorometric detection of all compounds was performed at an excitation
wavelength of 290 nm and an emission wavelength of 330 nm by means of an RF 2000
spectrofluorimeter (Dionex, Sunnyvale, USA). The mobile phase was n-hexane/ethyl
acetate/acetic acid (97.3:1.8:0.9 v/v/v) at a flow rate of 1.6 mL/min (FRATIANNI et al.,
2002; PANFILI et al., 2003). Compounds were identified by comparison of their retention
times with those of known available standard solutions and quantified on the basis of the
calibration curves of standard solutions. The concentration range was 5-25 µg/ml for
every tocol standard. Vitamin E activity was expressed as Tocopherol Equivalent (T.E.)
(mg/100 g product), calculated as reported by SHEPPARD et al. (1993).
3.1. Nutritional composition
The nutritional composition of fresh and dried goji berries is shown in Table 1. Fresh goji
berries have 77.4 % moisture, 1.1 % fats, 2.5 % proteins, 15.3 % carbohydrates and 2.9 %
fibre. In dried goji berries, 4.4 % fats, 10.2% proteins, 61.3 % carbohydrates and 11.4 % fibre
were found. Similar results on dried goji were reported by ENDES et al. (2015). Our data
suggest that dried fruits contain notable levels of dietary fibre, either as water-soluble
form (2.6 %) or as insoluble form (8.8 %). The ratio between insoluble and soluble fibre is
about 3:1. Dietary fibre intake recommendation for adults is 25 g/day (LARN, 2014). With
the consumption of a portion of 30 g of dried fruits, dietary fibre intake for the adults is
about 14 % of its daily recommended intake. Taking into account the European law
(Regulation CE 1924/2006), dried goji can be declared in label with the claim “high fibre
content”, since it contains at least 6 g of fibre per 100 g. Finally, fresh and dried goji berries
provide about 87 and 348 kcal/100 g, respectively.
Ital. J. Food Sci., vol 29, 2017 - 403
Table 1. Nutritional composition of fresh and dried goji berries (g/100 g) (mean±standard deviation).
* Calculated by difference.
3.2. Mineral composition
The content of both macro and microelements in goji berries is reported in Table 2.
Potassium (K) is the predominant element (276.2 mg/100 g and 881.9 mg/100 g for fresh
and dried fruits, respectively), followed by sodium (Na). Potassium and sodium play an
important role in regulating blood pressure and the body’s acid-base balance (CLAUSEN
et al., 2013). Goji could also be a good source of phosphorus (P) and calcium (Ca), with an
appreciable concentration of magnesium (Mg), which is needed to prevent heart disease
and growth retardation (CHATURVEDI et al., 2004). A discrete amount of copper (Cu),
iron (Fe) and manganese (Mn) were also found. BELLAIO et al. (2016), ENDES et al. (2015)
and LLORENT-MARTÍNEZ et al. (2013) reported slightly different results. As in any other
plant food, the mineral content of berries reflects the soil in which they are grown. It is
important to highlight that essential and nonessential element concentration is dependent
on the soil characteristics, the physiology of the plant, the water source composition, and
fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides, and fungicides used in the plantations. Plants can
absorb, carry, and accumulate chemical elements. Each species has its own requirements
and differing levels of tolerance when absorbing and accumulating an element. The
movement of the inorganic constituents is selectively controlled by the plant, with some
being easily absorbed and others impeded to a different degree (NAOZUKA et al., 2011).
Table 2. Average values of mineral elements in fresh and dried goji berries (mg/100 g) (mean±standard
Se (µg/100g)
Mo (µg/100g)
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Table 3 reports the percentage contribution to the RDA of 100 g of fresh and dried goji
berries, according to Reg. EU 1169/2011. For dried goji berries, the percentage of RDA per
portion (30 g) is also reported. From data, fresh goji berries can be declared on the label as
a source of Cu; in fact, 100 g of fresh goji berries contributed to about 25% of the RDA. The
contribution of other minerals from fresh goji is low. Dried goji berries can be declared as a
source of K, P, Cu, Fe Mn, Zn. A consumption of 30 g of dried goji per day contributes to
the RDA approximately of 25 % for Cu, 13 % for K and less than 10 % for other elements.
Table 3. Percentage contribution to the RDA of minerals in fresh and dried goji berries.
3.3. Carotenoid, tocol and ascorbic acid amounts
Table 4 shows HPLC carotenoid analysis of fresh and dried fruits. Drying of fruits did not
cause significant changes in carotenoid amounts (data not shown). Unsaponified
carotenoids, determined after solvent extraction, and saponified carotenoids, determined
after saponification of the extract, are reported.
Table 4. Average carotenoid amounts in fresh and dried goji berries (mg/100 g) (mean±standard deviation).
53.8± 0.82
2.3± 0.25
Zeaxanthin dipalmitate
Total carotenoids
Unsaponified carotenoids are characterized by a significant peak, identified as zeaxanthin
dipalmitate, the dominant ester of goji berries (WELLER and BREITHAUPT, 2003;
INBARAJ et al., 2008). Beta-carotene is also present. Before zeaxanthin dipalmitate peak,
other unidentified peaks, probably carotenoid esters (INBARAJ et al., 2008), were also
Reg. RDA
% RDA x 30g
Se (µg)
Ital. J. Food Sci., vol 29, 2017 - 405
detected. The amount of zeaxanthin dipalmitate in dried fruits is about 159 mg/100 g and
of β-carotene is about 1 mg/100 g. INBARAJ et al. (2008) found values of zeaxanthin
dipalmitate and of β-carotene of 114.3 mg/100 g and 2.4 mg/100 g, respectively. This
difference is probably due to the fact that carotenoid levels can be influenced by different
harvest stage fruits, geographical origin, and seasonality (WEN-PING at al., 2008).
Saponification of the extract is necessary to convert esters to free-compounds and it is
often used to remove chlorophylls, lipids and other analytical interferences (FRATIANNI
et al., 2015). The saponified extract of dried fruits shows high zeaxanthin contents (about
190 mg/100 g) and small lutein and β-cryptoxanthin amounts (about 6 mg/100). Small
amounts of lutein were also found, after saponification, in a work of ZAO et al., 2013. As a
dietary supplement for eye health (CHENG et al., 2005), a dose of 15 g per day was
deemed beneficial in supplying adequate zeaxanthin (estimated at 3 mg/day). Thirty g of
our goji samples provide a zeaxanthin amount of 14 mg/day (fresh fruit) and 48 mg/day
(dried fruit). Table 5 shows the tocol amounts in fresh and dried goji berries. As for
carotenoids, the drying treatment did not cause significant changes in tocol contents (data
not shown).
Table 5. Average tocopherol amounts in fresh and dried goji berries (mg/100 g) (mean±standard deviation).
β -tocopherol
Total tocopherols
Tocopherol Equivalent (TE) §
§ Calculated as in SHEPPARD et al., 1993.
Goji berries were found as a source of α- and β-tocopherol (about 1.4 and 1.0 mg/100 g,
respectively, in fresh fruits, and 5.5 and 4.2 mg/100 g, respectively, in dried fruits). A
paper by ISABELLE et al. (2015) reports, in Lycium chinenses, belonging to the same Lycium
species, the presence of α-tocopherol (3.9 mg/100 g), together with γ-tocopherol (0.46
mg/100 g), δ-tocopherol (0.12 mg/100 g), and traces of α-γ-δ tocotrienol (< 0.1 mg/100 g).
Table 5 also reports values of vitamin E activity provided by 100 g of product, expressed
as Tocopherol Equivalent (TE) (mg/100 g product) (SHEPPARD et al., 1993). Taking into
account the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamin E, which is of 12 mg/day
(Regulation EU 1169/2011), 100 g of fresh goji berries contribute approximately 16 % of
the RDA, while 100 g of dried fruits contribute approximately 66 % of the RDA, so that to
be declared in label as a source of vitamin E. A portion of dried goji berries (30 g)
contributes approximately 20 % of the RDA. The concentration of vitamin C was about 40
mg/100 g in fresh fruits and 38 mg/100 g in dried fruits. DONNO et al. (2015) report an
amount of about 42 mg/100 g in dried goji berries. Taking into account the Recommended
Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamin C of 80 mg/day (Regulation EU 1169/2011), 100 g of
fresh or dried goji berries contribute approximately 50 % of the RDA, so that they can be
declared on the label as a source of vitamin C. A portion of dried goji berries (30 g)
contributes about 16 % of the RDA.
Ital. J. Food Sci., vol 29, 2017 - 406
Goji berries cultivated in Italy were confirmed as an important source of healthy
compounds, providing a significant contribution to the diet, in terms of some inorganic
nutrients, and of dietary fibre, zeaxanthin, vitamins E and C. In particular, taking into
account the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for minerals and vitamins established
by the Commission of the European Communities, dried goji berries can be declared as a
source of K, P, Cu, Fe Mn, Zn. Moreover, both fresh and dried berries can be declared on
the label as a potential source of vitamins E and C.
The presented results enhance the knowledge of the composition and the nutritional
characteristics of fresh and dried goji berries cultivated in Italy and will help in verifying
the information reported in the label.
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Paper Received October 12, 2017 Accepted February 26, 2017
... A study in China identified 7.63% protein in dried goji berry (Gan et al. 2004). Niro et al. (2017) analyzed fresh and dried goji berries (g/100 g) for protein contents and found 2.5 ± 0.12% and 10.2 ± 0.22% protein content, respectively. Another study measured 9.57 ± 0.05% protein content in organic goji berry and 9.72 ± 0.03% protein in conventional goji berry among the quality and nutritional properties of goji fruit from organic and conventional goji berry cultivation (Pedro et al. 2019). ...
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Once the benefits to human health of the goji berry plant were understood, the popularity of goji products rapidly increased worldwide due to more studies by researchers and effective marketing strategies. For this reason, goji fruit and its fruit juice are marketed as healthy food products in many countries around the world. This study aimed to detect aroma compounds with a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) device using two solid-phase microextraction (SPME) fibers for fruit harvested in different ripening periods from three Lycium barbarum L. genotypes (‘HZR1’, ‘HZR2’, ‘HZR3’) and compare them with dried fruit from the Lycium barbarum L. genotypes. Another aim was to detect the protein contents of fruit harvested in different ripening periods from the ‘HZR1’, ‘HZR2’, and ‘HZR3’ genotypes and the ‘M1 ALTUNİ’ genotype from the Lycium chinense species with the Micro-Kjeldahl method. The study identified 35 volatile aroma compounds. The highest protein amount was found in the ‘M1 ALTUNİ’ genotype in the green period.
... The nutritional composition of fresh GBs cultivated in Italy was investigated by Niro and Montesano (Niro et al., 2017;Montesano et al., 2018). Both research groups analyzed GBs samples from southern Italy. ...
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Goji berries are the most cultivated fruit crop in Asian countries as they contain many nutrients and health-promoting bioactive compounds. These health-promoting properties have recently stimulated the interest of food and nutraceutical industries in Europe, so this crop has spread within Italy, which has become the largest European producer. Several works on the chemical composition and biological activities of Chinese goji berries are available. In this review, the chemical and the nutritional profile of goji berries from Licium barbarum spp. cultivated in Italy are reported.
... Although kenaf plant is considered as one of the plants containing high ascorbic acid (Ayadi et al., 2017), more data are still scarce. Nevertheless, the ascorbic data in red dates (Visnjevec et al., 2019) and goji berries (Niro et al., 2017) are widely available. It is known that a dried fruit (especially red dates and goji berries) have lower ascorbic acid content, and further boiling of the red dates and goji berries tea could cause the loss of ascorbic acid. ...
Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus) is an industrial crop in Malaysia, and especially used as a source for composite wood. Kenaf leaves as a by-product of the plantation can be consumed as food due to its high nutritional value. Kenaf leaves have high antioxidant properties, thus are suitable to be made into herbal tea. However, its flavour is considered sour, thus presenting a challenge for product development. The main objective of the present work was to evaluate the physicochemical and functional (ascorbic acid content, calcium content, and anti-diabetic) properties of kenaf leave tea (KLT) with 0, 60, and 100% kenaf leaves used. KLT was prepared by steaming and drying the kenaf leaves, followed by sieving. Then, the powder was mixed with distilled water at 1% (w/v). Another portion of red dates and goji berries tea (RGT) was prepared by boiling the red dates:goji berries:water at 1:2.5:28.5 ratio. Two portions of tea were infused using 60% KLT and 40% RGT. Results showed that a 100% KLT (positive control) was always highest in terms of total phenolic content (TPC) and total flavonoid content (TFC). The antioxidant activities were positively correlated with DPPH and ABTS scavenging activities, and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP). Contrary, the negative control (0% KLT) showed the highest α-amylase inhibitory effect. The present work also evaluated the acceptance of consumers using the Hedonic sensory test among 50 panellists with balance male and female candidates. Since 100% KLT extract was in low pH values (2.17 ± 0.26), 60% KLT infused with goji berries and red dates gained the highest consumers' acceptance. Therefore, as a compromise between sensory and functional properties, a maximum of 60% KLT was a suitable formulation for the consumers.
... (ICP-OES, Thermo Fischer Scientific, Bremen, Germany). The Lycium Barbarum L. fruits were mineralized by treatment with concentrated solutions of HNO3 and H2O2 at 170 °C until digestion was complete [26,27]. The content of any elements (which are analyzed by ICP-OES methods) X (ppm) was calculated by the formula: ...
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Objective: The purpose of the study is to determine the biological activity components content of wolfberry (Lycium Barbarum L.) fruit originating from Albania. To unify the requirements for quality control of medicinal plant raw materials, it is advisable to study the qualitative composition and quantitative content of the components of this plant that determine the complexity of biological action-anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, anti-cancer, vision-improving, and reproduction-enhancing effects. Methods: Lycium barbarum L. fruits were analyzed for the content of total carbohydrates and fructans by spectrophotometry method. The organic acids, one flavonoid, and one scopoletin were identified and quantified by the HPLC method. Macro-and microelements were analyzed by ICP-OES. Results: The results of the spectrophotometric analysis showed that total carbohydrate content and fructans content lie in the range of 21.763%-70.384% and 19.90-20.25%. Rutin, the main flavonoid compound in Lycium barbarum L. fruits, and scopoletin, a coumarin compound, contents lie respectively in the range of 2.10–5.48 mg/g and 0.48-0.76 mg/g. Potassium (K) is the predominant element in fruits, the content of which was 6740.75 μg/g. Conclusion: Lycium barbarum L. fruit is a rich source of important biologically active substances. Further, the resulting data are going to be used to establish a monograph for Lycium barbarum L. fruits.
Bee pollen (BP) is a natural product with remarkable nutritional and bioactive composition. Some of the compounds of interest are carotenoids with provitamin A activity, possessing an excellent antioxidant capacity and positive health effects. For that, the objective of this work was to characterize the botanical origin and carotenoid profile in two particle sizes of Colombian BP by Rapid Resolution Liquid Chromatography (RRLC). The carotenoid profile and α-tocopherol content were obtained, and ANOVA analysis was employed to explore data. The main carotenoids found were 9Z-zeaxanthin (65.15 ± 7.41–1104.98 ± 113.41 μg/g pollen), zeaxanthin (35.29 ± 2.08–354.30 ± 29.91 μg/g pollen), two zeaxanthin isomers (18.23 ± 3.73–227.69 ± 19.00 μg/g pollen) and β-cryptoxanthin (8.67 ± 1.27–34.25 ± 2.25 μg/g pollen). The statistical analysis showed significant differences between harvest time and particle size, proving the influence of climatic and botanic factors. The high content of macular and provitamin carotenoids was highlighted, which proposes BP as a significant source of important bioactive compounds. The carotenoids found allows characterizing BP in a complete seasonal cycle (January–December), research conducted for the first time in this product. Also, the information reported can be used to select harvest time of BP in order to include it as an ingredient, supplement, or raw material in the food industry, according to the carotenoid composition needed.
Bloodroot (Haemodorum spicatum) is an Australian native bulb plant yielding red pigment. This study aimed to characterize the phenolic and carotenoid profiles of the 80% ethanol extract of the H. spicatum bulb by HPLC-DAD-ESI-QTOF-MS/MS and HPLC-DAD. Results revealed the relatively low total phenolic content and antioxidant activity of the bulb extract with the maximum absorbance at 477 nm. Only 2 carotenoids (lutein and capsanthin) were detected at relatively low levels in the extract. A total of 40 phenolic compounds were tentatively identified, including 5 phenolic acids, 13 flavonoids and 22 other phenolic compounds, where 35 were reported for the first time in H. spicatum, together with 3 previously reported phenylphenalenones, haemodorol, haemoxiphidone and 2,5,6-trimethoxy-9-phenyl-1H-phenalen-1-one, and 2 oxabenzochrysenones, 5-hydroxy-2-methoxy-1H-naphtho[2,1,8-mna]xanthen-1-one and 5-hydroxy-1H-naphtho[2,1,8-mna]xanthen-1-one. This study provided the most comprehensive phenolic and carotenoid profiles of H. spicatum up to date.
Goji (Lycium barbarum L.) berries are well known for their biological activities and health-promoting antioxidant properties. Environmental and climatic factors can greatly affect accumulation of secondary metabolites, carotenoids and other antioxidants in plants. We determined the content and composition of main functional constituents of goji berries produced in central Italy in relation to the time of harvesting during two ripening seasons by analyzing the main environmental variables involved. The highest flavonoids content (0,19 ± 0,006 mg QE/g) and antioxidant power (0,03 ± 0,001 mmol Fe²⁺eq/g) were found at the beginning of the fruiting season. In September, berries show the highest total polyphenols (3,22 ± 0,09 mg GAE/g) and zeaxanthin contents (339,79 ± 14,12 μg/g). Our study focused on some important aspects related to the production of goji fruits with high nutraceutical characteristics in a non-experimental cultivation. Our results could provide reliable information on Goji performance in the European climate to be used for the exploitation of the species suggesting the best harvesting timing in terms of antioxidant power and nutraceutical features of berries. This information could be particularly useful for farmers eager to improve the quality of their products.
Diabetes is a major public health concern with a high risk of onset. It can lead to glycometabolism disorders. Improvement in diet is an effective way to regulate metabolic disorders. The fruits of Lycium barbarum, an ancient tonic and a traditional Chinese medicine, have shown beneficial effects against chronic metabolic diseases. Lycium barbarum polysaccharides, polyphenols, carotenoids and amino acids are the major natural bioactive compounds in the fruits of Lycium barbarum. They have many physiological activities and medicinal value and have shown significant anti-diabetic effects. This article reviews the effective actions of the main bioactive compounds in Lycium barbarum fruits in reducing blood glucose, intestinal and renal inflammation, retinal damage and other complications, discusses the possible metabolism of these bioactive compounds in the pathogenesis of diabetes, and explains the basic mechanism of regulation of blood glucose. Although the current research is limited to animal experiments and in vitro cell experiments, we have provided reliable evidence for our reports based on previous studies. Lycium barbarum fruits is a beneficial food that can interfere with carbohydrate metabolism in vivo, a significant direction for the development of Lycium barbarum, and can be used as a potential target for treating diabetes.
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Agricultural products tend to rot and deteriorate shortly after harvest due to the intense moisture content. The aroma, color, appearance and nutritional properties of these products, which begin the decay regime, are lost. In order to prevent these quality losses and to increase the shelf life of the products, various preservation methods have been applied from past to present. The most economical and widely used of these methods is the preservation method by drying. It has advantages over other preservation methods such as convenience in transportation and storage, more concentrated nutrient content, long-term preservation, and less packaging costs. In addition, products with commercial value such as dried figs, dried apricots, drying grapes and raisins are obtained by drying. The aim of this study is to examine the sun, shade, convective, vacuum, microwave, freeze, spray, foam, puff, infrared, osmotic, electrohydrodynamic and hybrid drying methods used for drying agricultural products in accordance with the literature.
Apart from traditional medicine use, the fruit of Lycium barbarum L., known as red goji berry or wolfberry, is recognized and consumed as a functional food. Beyond nutritional properties, goji berry exerts many biological activities and health-promoting effects due to wide-range phytochemicals. Rising global popularity and high demand have spread the production of goji berries from traditional Asian regions into various parts of the world. In addition, other native species, as Lycium ruthenicum Murr., or black goji berry, also have been started to generate attention by the scientific community as a valuable source of nutritional and functional components. This chapter reviews data on nutritional value and bioactive compounds of red and black goji berries from different regions, highlighting the influence of many pre-harvest and post-harvest factors that affect their chemical compositions, sensory quality, and bioactivities.
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The current European legislation in matter of labelling forbids the attribution of properties capable to prevent, treat or cure a human disease or to mention properties as such. In the past the States members of the European Union applied various interpretations of the legislation in matter of labelling because a regulation in this field was missing. In the meanwhile, in Europe (and in Italy) man y alimentary products have been giving uncontrolled nutritional information for years. Nowadays it is widely shared that healthy information must be properly formulated in order to protect the consumer, to encourage commerce and to support research and innovation in the alimentary industry. The Regulation (EC) 1924/2006, that establishes general principles applicable to the indications given on alimentary products, has been emanated to give rules to nutritional information that, as a matter of fact, is already widely used by alimentary firms. This work questions some aspects regulated by the current European and national legislation concerning nutritional and healthy information.
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Goji berries contain many nutrients and bioactive compounds which allowed to classify them as superfruits. A short description of the fruits is presented together with cultivation requirements. The chemical composition of the berries and their health-promoting properties are described later in this literature review. Based on the available data, their potentially beneficial application in dietary prevention of diseases of affluence, such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer, is elaborated. We also refer to the safety of Goji consumption in the context of ingredients potentially harmful for human health, allergic reactions and the interactions with other substances. © 2016 Bartosz Kulczyński et al., published by De Gruyter Open.
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In order to test current quality and nutritional merits of chocolate, 54 dark, plain and milk chocolate samples as well as cocoa were collected from the Austrian market and analyzed for many nutrient, essential and non essential elements, including the non-metals B, Si, S, and I. The cocoa contents ranged from 20-100%. Among the non-wanted trace elements, nickel was Gaussian distributed with a rather high mean of 4.9 mg/kg. Cd largely ranged below 0.20 mg/kg, but a few were higher, reaching 0.90 mg/kg. Contrary to previous studies, the same sample set was used to determine the contents of several element groups to look for interelement effects. Compared with element levels met in other sweets, element contents in chocolate were significantly higher. Many trace elements, like B-Co-Cr-Cu-Fe-Mn-Zn, ranged at levels met in green plants. Nickel concentrations were surprisingly high and about Gaussian distributed. Silicon was frequently higher than aluminium. Contaminants Pb, As, V, and Tl were very low, Cd was variable. Factor analysis grouped the element concentrations into B-Co-Cu-Mg-Mn-NiP -S-Zn, Al-Cr-Fe-Si, and Ca-J-Na, which might represent a component from the cocoa bean, its outer shell, and milk. Contrary to other sweets, consumption of 100 g of chocolate satisfies the recommended daily intake for Cr-Cu-Fe, and 300 g for Mg and Zn, which is particularly important for the adequate trace element supply of children and vegans.
In the functional foods market, the products targeting health and mental well-being have prompted the food industry to increase research and development of these new foods. Despite the uncertainties of existing regulations, outlining the context of a rapidly expanding market in main countries. This paper provides an overview of the current situation of the global market of functional foods. The objective of this analysis is to determine whether, and in what way, the field of functional foods can actually be an opportunity both for food companies, in terms of economic benefit, and for consumers, as an opportunity healthy products.
A simple and rapid analytical method for the determination of lutein content, successfully used for cereal matrices, was evaluated in fruit and vegetables. The method involved the determination of lutein after an alkaline hydrolysis of the sample matrix, followed by extraction with solvents and analysis by normal phase HPLC. The optimized method was simple, precise, and accurate and it was characterized by few steps that could prevent loss of lutein and its degradation. The optimized method was used to evaluate the lutein amounts in several fruit and vegetables. Rich sources of lutein were confirmed to be green vegetables such as parsley, spinach, chicory, chard, broccoli, courgette, and peas, even if in a range of variability. Taking into account the suggested reference values these vegetables can be stated as good sources of lutein.
Fats are widely used in the food industry as ingredients in many processed foods, in particular, in bakery products, they cover an important technological and sensorial role. With the introduction of new EU Regulation on Food Information (1169/2011) fats, in particular refined vegetable oils, should be clearly identified. Tocopherols and tocotrienols are eight different compounds with a variable qualitative/quantitative content in different fats. In this work, the content of tocopherols and tocotrienols of 38 commercial bakery products, such as different type of biscuits, croissants and sandwiches loaves, available on the Italian market in 2013–2014, was evaluated. Significant differences were found in the tocol profile of analysed samples. Moreover, the tocol profile reflected the tocol composition of the specified fat used as ingredient, thus giving the possibility to use tocols as a tool to verify the information given in food labelling. Regarding vitamin E activity, expressed as Tocopherol Equivalent (T.E.), the 68% of the analysed bakery products can be declared in label as a source of vitamin E, in particular, all biscuits made with vegetable oils and croissants, while no analysed sandwich loaves provided the recommended allowance.
The mineral content and levels of trace elements in the main exotic food supplements, colloquially called superfoods, have been here determined using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry after microwave digestion. The selected products were goji berries, goji juices, goji capsules, pomegranate juices, pomegranate capsules, chia seeds, acai juices, mangosteen juices, and mixtures of berries. The inorganic content of these products has scarcely, or not at all, been described in scientific literature and, taking into account the increase in consumers' interest for these supplements, represents valuable information for human health. A cranberry certified reference material (SRM 3283) and recovery experiments over different samples were performed to validate the method. The obtained results were discussed using the Recommended Daily Allowance for minerals provided by the Commission of the European Communities and a comparison between the different supplements was carried out.