Myrtus communis berry color morphs: a comparative analysis of essential oils, fatty acids, phenolic compounds, and antioxidant activities.Chem Biodivers. 2011 Feb; 8(2):300-10.CB
Extracts of mature dark blue and white berries from two Tunisian Myrtus communis morphs growing at the same site were assessed for their essential-oil and fatty-acid compositions, phenolic contents, and antioxidant activities. The GC and GC/MS analyses of the essential oils allowed the identification of 33 constituents. The oils from the dark blue fruits showed high percentages of α-pinene (11.1%), linalool (11.6%), α-terpineol (15.7%), methyl eugenol (6.2%), and geraniol (3.7%). Myrtenyl acetate (20.3%) was found to be the major compound in the oils from white berries. GC Analysis of the pericarp and seed fatty acids showed that the polyunsaturated fatty acids constituted the major fraction (54.3-78.1%). The highest percentages of linoleic acid (78.0%) and oleic acid (20.0%) were observed in the seeds and the pericarps of the white fruits, respectively. The total phenol, flavonoid, and flavonol contents and the concentration of the eight anthocyanins, identified by HPLC analysis, were significantly higher in the dark blue fruits. All extracts showed a substantial antioxidant activity, assessed by the free radical-scavenging activity and the ferric reducing power, with the dark blue fruit extracts being more effective.