Antioxidant capacity and lipid characterization of Georgia-grown underutilized fruit crops
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It is well known that certain bioactive compounds are involved in reducing the risk of diseases associated with oxidative stress. Five underutilized fruit crops of Georgia were investigated namely loquat (Eriobotrya japonica), mayhaw Crataegus sp.), fig (Ficus carica), pawpaw (Asimina triloba), and pomegranate (Punica granatum). Both hydrophilic and lipophilic antioxidant capacity were determined by FRAP and TEAC assays. Different fractions like seed, pulp, peel, whole fruit, and leaves were analyzed for phenolic compounds and organic acids. Lipid profile of seeds and fruits were also determined in terms of fatty acids, tocopherols, phytosterols, and phospholipids. The predominant organic acid in loquat, mayhaw, pawpaw, and fig was malic acid whereas in pomegranate it was citric acid. Among all the fruits investigated pomegranate had the highest content of phenolic compounds and antioxidant capacity. Leaves had the highest antioxidant capacity followed by peel in pomegranate and by seeds in other four fruits. The highest lipid content was found in pawpaw seed (21.5%). Pomegranate seed oil had high α and γ-tocopherols (167.3 and 84.6 mg/100 g, respectively) contents.