The compositional characterisation and antioxidant activity of fresh juices from sicilian sweet orange (Citrus sinensis L. Osbeck) varieties.Free Radic Res 2003; 37(6):681-7FR
Epidemiological evidence has suggested that consumption of fruit and vegetables reduces the risk of both cancer and cardiovascular diseases, potentially through the biological actions of components such as vitamin C, vitamin E, flavonoids and carotenoids. Citrus species are extremely rich sources in vitamin C and flavanones, a class of compounds which belongs to the flavonoids family. A comparison of the phenolic compositions, the ascorbic acid contents and the antioxidant activities of fresh Sicilian orange juices from pigmented (Moro, Tarocco and Sanguinello) and non-pigmented (Ovale, Valencia and Navel) varieties of orange (Citrus sinensis L. Osbeck), was undertaken. The simultaneous characterisation and quantification of the major flavanone, anthocyanin and hydroxycinnamate components were attained by HPLC with diode array detection. Differences between varieties in terms of the flavanone glycoside content, particularly hesperidin, were observed, with the Tarocco juices reporting the highest content. Furthermore, cyanidin-3-glucoside and cyanidin-3-(6"-malonyl)-glucoside were predominant in all the pigmented varieties, but their concentration was higher in the juices of the Moro variety. Quantitatively, the major antioxidant component of all juices was ascorbic acid and its concentration was significantly correlated (r = 0.74, P < 0.001) with the total antioxidant activity of the juices, determined in vitro using the ABTS radical cation decolorization assay. Similarly, hydroxycinnamates (r = 0.73, P < 0.01) and anthocyanins (r = 0.98, P < 0.001) content showed a good correlation with the determined antioxidant capacity. Therefore orange juices, particularly those rich in anthocyanins, may represent a significant dietary source of flavonoids.