Tamarillo (Solanum betaceum Cav.) is an underutilised fruit in Malaysia. The fruit, however, contains good proportions of soluble fibre, protein, starch, anthocyanins and carotenoids. Amongst the fruits, only tamarillo mesocarp contains both polar (anthocyanins) and non-polar (carotenoids) pigments. The ability to retain both polar and non-polar pigments in the mesocarp could be related to the unique properties of its hydrocolloids. To understand the pigment-hydrocolloid interaction in the fruit, information on the physicochemical characteristics of the hydrocolloids is required. Therefore, hydrocolloids from the anthocyanin-rich seed mucilage fraction of the tamarillo and its carotenoid-rich pulp fraction were extracted and characterised. Water and 1% citric acid were used to extract the seed mucilage hydrocolloid while 72% ethanol and 20mM HEPES buffer were used for pulp hydrocolloid extraction. Seed mucilage hydrocolloid was primarily composed of arabinogalactan protein-associated pectin whereas pulp hydrocolloid was composed of hemicellulosic polysaccharides with some naturally interacting proteins and neutral polysaccharides.
Anoectochilus sp. and Ludisia discolor are known as Jewel orchids. Both species are terrestrial wild orchids that grow in shaded areas of forests. The Jewel orchids are renowned for the beauty of their leaves, which are dark-green laced with silvery or golden veins. The orchids are used as a cure in various parts of Asia. Overharvesting and anthropogenic disturbances threaten the existence of the Jewel orchids in the wild, necessitating human intervention in their survival. An understanding of the structure and adaptations of a plant may assist in its survival when propagated outside of its habitat. In this study, ex vitro leaves of Anoectochilus sp. and L. discolor were subjected to freehand sectioning, and then inspected through brightfield and fluorescence microscopy. The study indicated that all parts of both plants presented typical monocotyledonous characteristics except the leaves. The leaves displayed dorsiventrality with distinct palisade and spongy mesophyll layers. The spongy mesophyll layer contained cells which fluoresced a bright red when exposed to ultraviolet, blue, and green light wavelengths, hinting at the presence of anthocyanins for photoprotection. Cyanidin was detected in the leaves of L. discolor, as enumerated through high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The observations indicated that Anoectochilus sp. and L. discolor are well-adapted to live under shaded conditions with minimal exposure to light.
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.
A developed colorimetric pH sensor film based on edible materials for real-time monitoring of food freshness is described. The mixed natural dyes from edible plants Clitoria sp and Brassica sp were extracted and incorporated into ι-carrageenan film as a colorimetric pH sensor film for monitoring food spoilage and its freshness. The color changes of the developed colorimetric sensor film were measured with chromametry and UV-vis spectroscopy, respectively. Experimental results show that colorimetric pH sensor film demonstrated statistically significant differences (p < 0.05) between CIE-L*a*b* coordinates color system indicated that the developed colorimetric sensor film was able to give a gradual change in color over a wide pH range. The color of the colorimetric sensor film also changes discretely and linearly with factors that contribute to food spoilage using shrimp and durian samples. Moreover, the developed colorimetric pH sensor film has the potential to be used as a safe, non-destructive testing and also a flexibly visual method for direct assessment of food freshness indicator during storage.
The increase in atmospheric CO(2) concentration caused by climate change and agricultural practices is likely to affect biota by producing changes in plant growth, allocation and chemical composition. This study was conducted to evaluate the combined effect of the application of salicylic acid (SA, at two levels: 0 and 10-3 M) and CO(2) enrichment (at two levels: 400 and 800 μmol·mol-1) on the production and antioxidant activities of anthocyanin, flavonoids and isoflavonoids from two Malaysian ginger varieties, namely Halia Bentong and Halia Bara.
The term "superfruit" has gained increasing usage and attention recently with the marketing strategy to promote the extraordinary health benefits of some exotic fruits, which may not have worldwide popularity. This has led to many studies with the identification and quantification of various groups of phytochemicals. This contribution discusses phytochemical compositions, antioxidant efficacies, and potential health benefits of the main superfruits such as açai, acerola, camu-camu, goji berry, jaboticaba, jambolão, maqui, noni, and pitanga. Novel product formulations, safety aspects, and future perspectives of these superfruits have also been covered. Research findings from the existing literature published within the last 10 years have been compiled and summarized. These superfruits having numerous phytochemicals (phenolic acids, flavonoids, proanthocyanidins, iridoids, coumarins, hydrolysable tannins, carotenoids, and anthocyanins) together with their corresponding antioxidant activities, have increasingly been utilized. Hence, these superfruits can be considered as a valuable source of functional foods due to the phytochemical compositions and their corresponding antioxidant activities. The phytochemicals from superfruits are bioaccessible and bioavailable in humans with promising health benefits. More well-designed human explorative studies are needed to validate the health benefits of these superfruits.
Garcinia parvifolia belongs to the same family as mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana), which is known locally in Sabah as "asam kandis" or cherry mangosteen. The present study was conducted to determine the phytochemicals content (total phenolic, flavonoid, anthocyanin, and carotenoid content) and antioxidant and acetylcholinesterase inhibition activity of the flesh and peel of G. parvifolia. All samples were freeze-dried and extracted using 80% methanol and distilled water. For the 80% methanol extract, the flesh of G. parvifolia displayed higher phenolic and flavonoid contents than the peel, with values of 7.2 ± 0.3 mg gallic acid equivalent (GAE)/g and 5.9 ± 0.1 mg rutin equivalent (RU)/g, respectively. Anthocyanins were detected in the peel part of G. parvifolia but absent in the flesh. The peel of G. parvifolia displayed higher total carotenoid content as compared to the flesh part with the values of 17.0 ± 0.3 and 3.0 ± 0.0 mg β-carotene equivalents (BC)/100 g, respectively. The free-radical scavenging, ferric reducing, and acetylcholinesterase inhibition effect of the flesh were higher as compared to the peel in both extracts. These findings suggested that the edible part of G. parvifolia fruit has a potential as a natural source of antioxidant and anti-Alzheimer's agents.
A split plot 3 by 4 experiment was designed to characterize the relationship between production of gluthatione (GSH), oxidized gluthatione (GSSG), total flavonoid, anthocyanin, ascorbic acid and antioxidant activities (FRAP and DPPH) in three varieties of Labisia pumila Blume, namely the varieties alata, pumila and lanceolata, under four levels of nitrogen fertilization (0, 90, 180 and 270 kg N/ha) for 15 weeks. The treatment effects were solely contributed by nitrogen application; there was neither varietal nor interaction effects observed. As the nitrogen levels decreased from 270 to 0 kg N/ha, the production of GSH and GSSG, anthocyanin, total flavonoid and ascorbic acid increased steadily. At the highest nitrogen treatment level, L. pumila exhibited significantly lower antioxidant activities (DPPH and FRAP) than those exposed to limited nitrogen growing conditions. Significant positive correlation was obtained between antioxidant activities (DPPH and FRAP), total flavonoid, GSH, GSSG, anthocyanin and ascorbic acid suggesting that an increase in the antioxidative activities in L. pumila under low nitrogen fertilization could be attributed to higher contents of these compounds. From this observation, it could be concluded that in order to avoid negative effects on the quality of L. pumila, it is advisable to avoid excessive application of nitrogen fertilizer when cultivating the herb for its medicinal use.