Content of bioactive compounds and their contribution to antioxidant capacity during ripening of pineapple (Ananas comosus L.) cv Esmeralda
Pineapple (Ananas comosus L.) cv Esmeralda is a commercially important fruit with many bioactive compounds like vitamin C, β-carotene, phenolic compounds and flavonoids, which have been reported only for fruits of commercial maturity. Our objective was to evaluate changes in concentration of main pineapple bioactives, their contribution to total antioxidant capacity and enzyme activities of phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL), polyphenol oxidase (PPO) and peroxidase (POD) during pineapple ripening. Fruits were grouped into four ripening stages (RS) according to their weight, size and percentage of yellow skin color (RS1: 100% green, RS2: up to 30% yellow, RS3: 30% - 75% yellow, RS4: 75% - 100% yellow). Vitamin C content initially increased, and decreased at RS4; β-carotene, phenolics and antioxidant capacity increased gradually. Phenolics contributed over 40% of antioxidant capacity, followed by vitamin C and β-carotene. Major phenolic compounds identified were gallic acid, catechin and epicatechin. PAL and POD activity increased with ripening and correlated with concentration of phenolics. No PPO activity was quantified. We concluded that ripening of pineapple cv Esmeralda alters the concentration of bioactive compounds. Phenolic compounds, particularly gallic acid, exert the most antioxidant capacity during all RS, even if other compounds have higher concentrations.
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