Maturational effects on phenolic constituents, antioxidant activities and LC-MS / MS profiles of lemon (<i>Citrus limon</i>) peels

  • Nadia Mcharek Laboratory of Methods and Analysis Techniques (LMTA), National Institute of Research and Physico-Chemical Analysis (INRAP), Sidi Thabet, 2020, Ariana, Tunisia
  • Belgacem Hanchi Department of ecology, Faculty of Sciences of Tunis - University Campus, 2092, El Manar, Tunis, Tunisia
Keywords: Citrus limon, peels, polyphenols, antioxidant activity, maturation, LC-MS / MS


Methanol extracts from peels of lemon (Citrus limon (L.) Burm) fruits collected at three maturity stages (immature, half-mature and mature) were analyzed for their total phenolic contents (TPC) and antioxidant activities. Irrespective to peel parts analyzed (albedo or flavedo), a declining trend was observed for TPC during maturation. By using DPPH, ABTS and FRAP assays, it was found that all extracts had strong antioxidant activities. As maturation progress, the antioxidant activity of both peel parts decreased. Significant relationships between antioxidant capacity and TPC were found, indicating on the one hand, that phenolic compounds are the major contributors to the antioxidant properties, and that the three methods have similar predictive capacity for antioxidant activity of lemon peel, on the other hand. Analysis by HPLC-DAD-MS/MS revealed that flavedo and albedo extracts haves similar phenolic profiles and allowed the identification of hesperidin, rutin, eriocitrin, diosmin and hyperoside, as the main compounds.