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Open AccessArticle

Phenolic Compounds and Antioxidant Activity of Sprouts from Seeds of Citrus Species

Dipartimento di ScienzeAgrarie, AlimentariedAmbientali, Università di Perugia, Borgo XX Giugno, 74-06121 Perugia, Italy
Facoltà di Bioscienze e Tecnologie Agro-AlimentariAmbientali, Università di Teramo, 64100 Teramo, Italy
Consiglio per la Ricerca in Agricoltura e l’Analisidell’Economiaagraria, Centro di Ricerca per Orticoltura e Florovivaismo (CREA-OF), Monsampolo del Tronto, 63077 Ascoli Piceno, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agriculture 2020, 10(2), 33;
Received: 18 December 2019 / Revised: 22 January 2020 / Accepted: 27 January 2020 / Published: 30 January 2020
Seeds from Citrus species represent a relevant by-product of the juice industry and a potential source of bioactive compounds such as phenols and other antioxidants. Sprouting could be an intriguing idea to enhance the content of these compounds, as explored for other fruittree species. In this experiment, the sprouting performance, the concentration of total phenols and phenolic acids, and the antioxidant activity of seeds and sprouts were evaluated for bitter orange (Citrus aurantium L. seedlings), blonde orange (Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck cv.Biondocomune), sweet orange (Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck seedlings), lemon (Citrus limon (L.) Osbeck cv.Femminello), and mandarin (Citrus reticulata Blanco cv.Tardivo di Ciaculli). The germination was high for all genotypes except for mandarin, but it took 4–8 weeks. Sprouts did not differ among genotypes for size and generally had hard consistency of cotyledons and a bitter taste. The concentrations of total phenols and phenolic acids of seeds and sprouts varied with the genotype, while the antioxidant activity was not statistically different among treatments. Sprouting increased both the concentration of phenolic compounds and antioxidant activity but no correlation was found between them, suggesting that other antioxidants, besides phenols, are present. Given the slow germination and the bitter taste, Citrus sprouts appear unsuitable for homemade production aimed at direct consumption, while they may have perspectives for extraction of food additives, cosmetics, and pharmaceutics. View Full-Text
Keywords: phytochemicals; phenolic acids; by-product; germination phytochemicals; phenolic acids; by-product; germination
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Falcinelli, B.; Famiani, F.; Paoletti, A.; D’Egidio, S.; Stagnari, F.; Galieni, A.; Benincasa, P. Phenolic Compounds and Antioxidant Activity of Sprouts from Seeds of Citrus Species. Agriculture 2020, 10, 33.

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