Submitted to: Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/4/2006
Publication Date: 5/31/2007
Citation: Vizzotto, M., Cisneros-Zevallos, L., Byrne, D., Okie, W.R., Ramming, D.W. 2007. Large Variation Found in the Phytochemical and Antioxidant Activity of Peach and Plum Germplasm. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science. 132(3):334-340. Interpretive Summary: Health benefits of the food in every day diets are of great concern to people today. Phenolics and carotenoids have been implicated in improving human health and they are known to occur in fruits. Nineteen peach and 45 plum varieties were analyzed for phytochemicals and antioxidant activity. The antioxidant activity was the highest in red flesh peaches and correlated with their phenolic content. Antioxidant activity also tended to be higher in red flesh plums and they generally also had higher phenolic content. This information will allow breeders to select for varieties with higher phenolic content and antioxidant activity, resulting in the development of healthier food.
Technical Abstract: Nineteen peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] genotypes and forty-five plum (Prunus salicina Erhr. and hybrids) genotypes with different flesh and skin color were analyzed for their antioxidant content and antioxidant activity. Anthocyanin content, phenolic content and antioxidant activity were higher in red-flesh than in light-colored flesh peaches. Carotenoid content was higher in yellow-flesh peaches then in light-colored ones. Red-flesh plums generally had higher anthocyanin and phenolic contents than the other plums but not necessarily greater antioxidant capacity. The total phenolics content had the most consistent and highest correlation with antioxidant activity indicating that it is more important in determining the antioxidant activity of peaches and plums than are the anthocyanin and carotenoid contents. The differences in the genotype’s specific antioxidant capacity indicated that the phenolic profiles in the genotypes differ significantly. In general, the wide range of phytochemical content and antioxidant activity (AOA) found indicate that the genetic variability present can be used to develop cultivars with enhanced health benefits.