Thirteen Malaysian plants; Artocarpus champeden, Azadirachta indica, Fragaria x ananassa, Garcinia mangostana, Lawsonia inermis, Mangifera indica, Nephelium lappaceum, Nephelium mutobile, Peltophorum pterocarpum, Psidium guajava and Syzygium aqueum, selected for their use in traditional medicine, were subjected to a variety of assays. Antioxidant capability, total phenolic content, elemental composition, as well as it cytotoxity to several cell lines of the aqueous and ethanolic extracts from different parts of these selected Malaysian plants were determined. In general, the ethanolic extracts were better free radical scavengers than the aqueous extracts and some of the tested extracts were even more potent than a commercial grape seed preparation. Similar results were seen in the lipid peroxidation inhibition studies. Our findings also showed a strong correlation of antioxidant activity with the total phenolic content. These extracts when tested for its heavy metals content, were found to be below permissible value for nutraceutical application. In addition, most of the extracts were found not cytotoxic to 3T3 and 4T1 cells at concentrations as high as 100 microg/mL. We conclude that although traditionally these plants are used in the aqueous form, its commercial preparation could be achieved using ethanol since a high total phenolic content and antioxidant activity is associated with this method of preparation.
Freshly prepared, hand-pressed strawberry fruit juice was exposed to ultraviolet radiation (254 nm) at room temperature (25 ℃ ± 1 ℃) for 15, 30 and 60 min with 0 min serving as control. Results revealed decrease in pH, total soluble solids and titratable acidity, while colour parameters (L*, a* and b* values) and clarity of juice (% transmittance) increased significantly. All the results corresponded to exposure time to ultraviolet radiation. Bioactive compounds (total phenolics, ascorbic acid and anthocyanins) decreased along with a recorded reduction in polyphenol oxidase enzyme and 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl hydrazyl radical scavenging activities, which were again dependent on exposure time. Results on the microbial studies showed significant reduction by 2-log cycles in aerobic plate count as well as in total yeast and mould counts. Though negative results were observed for certain parameters, this is the first time it was endeavoured to demonstrate the impact of ultraviolet radiation radiation on freshly prepared, hand-pressed strawberries juice.
The antioxidant activity of several Malaysian plant extracts was analyzed simultaneously with their pro-oxidant capacity. This ratio represents an index (ProAntidex) of the net free radical scavenging ability of whole plant extracts. We observed that ethanolic extracts of Nephelium lappaceum peel, Fragaria x ananassa leaf, Lawsonia inermis leaf, Syzygium aqueum leaf and grape seed had a lower Pro-Antidex than the commercially available Emblica™ extract which is an antioxidant agent with very low pro-oxidant activity. Among the aqueous extracts, Lawsonia inermis leaf, Nephelium mutobile leaf and grape seed had lower pro-oxidant activity compared to the Emblica™ extract. Among these extracts, aqueous extract of Nephelium mutobile leaf had a very low index of 0.05 compared to 0.69 for Emblica™. Most of the extracts had a far lower ProAntidex compared to the Vitamin C. The index enables us to identify extracts with high net free radical scavenging activity potential. The ProAntidex is beneficial as a screening parameter to the food industries and healthcare.
A headspace single-drop microextraction (HS-SDME) procedure is optimized for the analysis of organochlorine and organophosphorous pesticide residues in food matrices, namely cucumbers and strawberries by gas chromatography with an electron capture detector. The parameters affecting the HS-SDME performance, such as selection of the extraction solvent, solvent drop volume, extraction time, temperature, stirring rate, and ionic strength, were studied and optimized. Extraction was achieved by exposing 1.5 microL toluene drop to the headspace of a 5 mL aqueous solution in a 15-mL vial and stirred at 800 rpm. The analytical parameters, such as linearity, correlation coefficients, precision, limits of detection (LOD), limits of quantification (LOQ), and recovery, were compared with those obtained from headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) and solid-phase extraction. The mean recoveries for all three methods were all above 70% and below 104%. HS-SPME was the best method with the lowest LOD and LOQ values. Overall, the proposed HS-SDME method is acceptable in the analysis of pesticide residues in food matrices.
Fragaria chiloensis fruit has a short postharvest life mainly due to its rapid softening. In order to improve its postharvest life, preharvest applications of methyl jasmonate (MeJA) and chitosan were evaluated during postharvest storage at room temperature. The quality and chemical parameters, and protection against decay were evaluated at 0, 24, 48 and 72 h of storage from fruits of two subsequent picks (termed as first harvest and second harvest). In general, fruits treated with MeJA and chitosan maintained higher levels of fruit firmness, anthocyanin, and showed significant delays in decay incidence compared to control fruit. MeJA-treated fruits exhibited a greater lignin content and SSC/TA ratio, and delayed decay incidences. Instead, chitosan-treated fruits presented higher antioxidant capacity and total phenol content. In short, both the elicitors were able to increase the shelf life of fruits as evidenced by the increased levels of lignin and anthocyanin, especially of the second harvest.