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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Functional Foods Research

Title: Contents of phenolics and flavonoids and antioxidant activities in skin, pulp, and seeds of miracle fruit

item Inglett, George
item Chen, Diejun

Submitted to: Journal of Food Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/24/2011
Publication Date: 2/16/2011
Citation: Inglett, G.E., Chen, D. 2011. Contents of phenolics and flavonoids and antioxidant activities in skin, pulp, and seeds of miracle fruit. Journal of Food Science. 76(3):C479-C482.

Interpretive Summary: Miracle Fruit(Synsepalum dulificum)is indigenous to tropical West Africa and was introduced into the United State’s Department of Agriculture Federal Experiment Station in Puerto Rico. The shrub yields ripe red fruits from December to June. Miracle Fruit berries have unusual taste modifying properties causing sour substances to taste sweet after the inside of the mouth has been thoroughly exposed to the fruit’s mucilaginous pulp. Minority businesses in Florida are cultivating the berries for its remarkable taste modifying properties. Miracle Fruit also has valuable antioxidant activities for utilization as whole food or food ingredients. Utilizing the antioxidant activity, particularly in the pulp and seeds, could find some substantial benefits in food and industrial applications. This study explored new potential uses of the miracle fruit for improving American health.

Technical Abstract: Miracle Fruit (Synsepalum dulificum) has been studied because of its unique taste modifying properties. This study investigated antioxidant activities, phenolic contents, and flavonoids in skin, pulp, and seeds of Miracle Fruit. The free phenolic content in skin was almost three times of that in pulp and four times of that in seeds. Skin contributed 44.0% of free phenolic compounds with 16% of freeze-dried solids due to its high phenolic content. On other hand, the differences in the bound phenolic contents were not so distinct among the three components. The free antioxidant activities in skin and pulp were comparable, and were significantly higher than that in seeds. Although the antioxidant activities in seeds was considerably lower than that in skin, 49% free antioxidant activity, 76% bound antioxidant activity and 58% of total antioxidant activity were contributed by seeds due to 66% of solid of total solids. In general, the results of antioxidant activities using sequential methods were higher than that using direct method. As the trend observed for phenolic content, the free flavonoid content in the skin was tremendously higher than that in the seed and pulp. The skin contributed about 52% of total flavonoid with 16% of solid. This study suggests that Miracle Fruit is a good source not only for flavor and color, and also antioxidant activity for functional food ingredients.

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
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