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Open AccessArticle

Carotenoids, Fatty Acids, and Volatile Compounds in Apricot Cultivars from Romania—A Chemometric Approach

1
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca, 400372 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
2
Research Station for Fruit Growing (RSFG), 907300 Valu lui Traian, Romania
3
Department of Biomedical, Dental, Morphological and Functional Imaging Sciences, University of Messina, 98168 Messina, Italy
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Department of Chemical, Biological, Pharmaceutical and Environmental Sciences, University of Messina, 98168 Messina, Italy
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Chromaleont s.r.l., c/o Department of Chemical, Biological, Pharmaceutical and Environmental Sciences, University of Messina, 98168 Messina, Italy
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Department of Sciences and Technologies for Human and Environment, University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome, 00125 Rome, Italy
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BeSep s.r.l., c/o Department of Chemical, Biological, Pharmaceutical and Environmental Sciences, University of Messina, 98168 Messina, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Antioxidants 2020, 9(7), 562; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox9070562
Received: 25 May 2020 / Revised: 23 June 2020 / Accepted: 25 June 2020 / Published: 27 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recents Developments in Bioactive Molecules Evaluation)
Lipophilic constituents are important for the color and aroma of apricots, but also for their health benefits. In the present study, carotenoids, fatty acids, and volatiles were analyzed in 11 apricot cultivars, from which nine were obtained in Romania. High performance liquid chromatography coupled to a diode array detector with atmospheric pressure chemical ionization and mass spectrometry (HPLC-DAD-APCI-MS methodology applied on unsaponified carotenoid extracts allowed the identification and quantification of 19 compounds. The predominant carotenoids in all cultivars were all-trans-β-carotene and its cis isomers. Lutein was present exclusively in non-esterified form, while β-cryptoxanthin was predominantly esterified, mainly with oleic, palmitic, lauric, and stearic acid. Moreover, β-cryptoxanthin linoleate, linolenate, and stearate were detected for the first time in Harogem cultivar. Variation in carotenoid content and composition was observed, with the highest carotenoid content being recorded in Tudor, Harogem, and Mamaia cultivars. The predominant fatty acids determined by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) were linoleic (up to 47%), palmitic (up to 32.7%), and linolenic (up to 17.16%), with small variations among cultivars. In-tube extraction technique (ITEX)/GC-MS was applied for profiling the volatiles in apricot fruits and 120 compounds were identified, with terpenoids and esters as the most abundant classes. Principal component analysis (PCA) revealed that the carotenoids and the fatty acids profile can be used for variety authentication and discrimination in apricots.
Keywords: Prunus armeniaca L.; carotenoids; fatty acids; volatiles Prunus armeniaca L.; carotenoids; fatty acids; volatiles
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Pintea, A.; Dulf, F.V.; Bunea, A.; Socaci, S.A.; Pop, E.A.; Opriță, V.-A.; Giuffrida, D.; Cacciola, F.; Bartolomeo, G.; Mondello, L. Carotenoids, Fatty Acids, and Volatile Compounds in Apricot Cultivars from Romania—A Chemometric Approach. Antioxidants 2020, 9, 562.

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