Extracting Healthy Compounds from Young Red Apples Using Eco-Friendly Methods

Jenn Hoskins
20th May, 2024

Extracting Healthy Compounds from Young Red Apples Using Eco-Friendly Methods

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Researchers at The University of Adelaide found that young red-fleshed apples (RFA) have the highest polyphenolic content compared to ripe red-fleshed and both young and ripe white-fleshed apples
  • Natural deep eutectic solvents (NDES) were as effective as methanol in extracting phenolics from young RFA, offering a greener alternative
  • The phenolic extracts obtained using NDES showed similar antioxidant, neuroprotective, and antimicrobial activities to those extracted with methanol, maintaining their beneficial properties
Red-fleshed apple cultivars with an enhanced content of polyphenolic compounds have attracted increasing interest due to their promising health benefits. A recent study conducted by researchers at The University of Adelaide has analyzed the polyphenolic content of young, red-fleshed apples (RFA) and optimized the extraction conditions of phenolics using natural deep eutectic solvents (NDES)[1]. This study also compared the antioxidant, neuroprotective, and antimicrobial activities of NDES- and methanol-extracted phenolics from young RFA. Polyphenols are a group of naturally occurring compounds found in plants, known for their antioxidant properties and potential health benefits. In this study, the researchers aimed to identify and quantify the polyphenolic content in young RFA, ripe red-fleshed apples, and both young and ripe white-fleshed apples. They employed high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to high-resolution mass spectrometry (HPLC-HRMS) for this purpose. The results revealed that young RFA possess the highest phenolic content, measuring 2078.4 ± 4.0 mg gallic acid equivalent per 100 grams. In contrast, ripe white-fleshed apples contained the least amount of phenolics, with 545.0 ± 32.0 mg gallic acid equivalent per 100 grams. This finding aligns with previous research that has shown red-fleshed apples generally have higher amounts of phenolic acids, anthocyanins, and other bioactive compounds compared to white-fleshed apples[2]. One of the key aspects of this study was the use of NDES for the extraction of phenolics. NDES are a type of solvent composed of natural compounds, such as choline chloride and glycerol, which can be mixed in specific ratios to form a liquid at room temperature. These solvents are considered environmentally friendly and can be a sustainable alternative to traditional organic solvents like methanol. The study found that the NDES choline chloride-glycerol containing 40% w/w H2O gave similar yields at 40°C as methanol, making it an effective and greener option for phenolic extraction[3]. The researchers also compared the polyphenolic profiles and bioactivities of the NDES extracts from young RFA to those of methanol extracts. They discovered that the NDES extracts had comparable antioxidant, neuroprotective, and antimicrobial activities to the methanol extracts. This indicates that NDES can be used to obtain bioactive polyphenolics from young RFA without compromising their beneficial properties. The findings of this study have several potential applications. The high polyphenolic content and bioactivities of the NDES extracts from young RFA suggest that they could be used in the production of functional foods, which are foods that have a potentially positive effect on health beyond basic nutrition. Additionally, these extracts could be utilized in smart material engineering and natural therapies, offering a sustainable and effective source of bioactive compounds. In summary, this study by The University of Adelaide has demonstrated that young red-fleshed apples are a rich source of polyphenolic compounds and that natural deep eutectic solvents can be effectively used to extract these compounds. The use of NDES not only provides a greener alternative to traditional solvents but also maintains the bioactivity of the extracted phenolics, making them suitable for various applications in food production and beyond. This research builds on previous findings about the benefits of red-fleshed apples and the potential of deep eutectic solvents, highlighting their combined potential for future innovations in health and sustainability[2][3].



Main Study

1) Profiling and optimized extraction of bioactive polyphenolic compounds from young, red-fleshed apple using eco-friendly deep eutectic solvents.

Published 19th May, 2024


Related Studies

2) Phytochemical Profiles of New Red-Fleshed Apple Varieties Compared with Traditional and New White-Fleshed Varieties.


3) Deep eutectic solvents formed between choline chloride and carboxylic acids: versatile alternatives to ionic liquids.

Journal: Journal of the American Chemical Society, Issue: Vol 126, Issue 29, Jul 2004

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