OBJECTIVE: Evaluate the metabolite variations and antioxidant activity among M. calabura leaves subjected to different drying methods and extracted with different ethanol ratios using proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1 H-NMR)-based metabolomics. Methodology The antioxidant activity of M. calabura leaves dried with three different drying methods and extracted with three different ethanol ratios was determined by using 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and nitric oxide (NO) scavenging assays. The metabolites variation among the extracts and correlation with antioxidant activity were analysed by 1 H-NMR-based metabolomics.
RESULTS: Muntingia calabura leaves extracted with 50% and 100% ethanol from air-drying and freeze-drying methods had the highest total phenolic content and the lowest IC50 value for the DPPH scavenging activity. Meanwhile, oven-dried leaves extracted with 100% ethanol had the lowest IC50 value for the NO scavenging activity. A total of 43 metabolites, including sugars, organic acids, amino acids, phytosterols, phenolics and terpene glycoside were tentatively identified. A noticeable discrimination was observed in the different ethanol ratios by the principal component analysis. The partial least-squares analysis suggested that 32 compounds out of 43 compounds identified were the contributors to the bioactivities.
CONCLUSION: The results established set the preliminary steps towards developing this plant into a high value product for phytomedicinal preparations.