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Traditional Small-Size Citrus from Taiwan: Essential Oils, Bioactive Compounds and Antioxidant Capacity

Department of Food Science, National Pingtung University of Science & Technology, Pingtung 90090, Taiwan
Department of Food Science and Biotechnology, National Chung Hsing University, 250 Kuokuang Road, Taichung 40227, Taiwan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Eleni Skaltsa
Medicines 2017, 4(2), 28;
Received: 13 March 2017 / Revised: 1 May 2017 / Accepted: 4 May 2017 / Published: 8 May 2017
PDF [559 KB, uploaded 8 May 2017]


Background: The calamondin (Citrus microcarpa Bunge) and the kumquat (Fortunella crassifolia Swingle) are two small-size citrus fruits that have traditionally been consumed in Taiwan; however, there has been a lack of scientific research regarding the active compounds and functionalities of these fruits. Methods: Analysis of volatile composition of essential oil and phytosterol was carried out using Gas Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS). Flavonoid and limonoid were analyzed by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). Moreover, antioxidant capacity from their essential oils and extracts were assessed in vitro. Results: The compositions of the essential oils of both fruits were identified, with the results showing that the calamondin and kumquat contain identified 43 and 44 volatile compounds, respectively. In addition, oxygenated compounds of volatiles accounted for 4.25% and 2.04%, respectively, consistent with the fact that oxygenated compounds are generally found in high content in citrus fruits. In terms of flavonoids, the calamondin exhibited higher content than the kumquat, with disomin-based flavonoids being predominant; on the other hand, phytosterol content of kumquat was higher than that of calamondin, with amyrin being the dominant phytosterol. Both of them contain high amounts of limonoids. The ethanol extracts and essential oils of small-sized citrus fruits have been shown to have antioxidant effects, with those effects being closely related to the flavonoid content of the fruit in question. Conclusions: The present study also reviewed antioxidant activity in terms of specific bioactive compounds in order to find the underlying biological activity of both fruits. The calamondin and kumquat have antioxidant effects, which are in turn very important for the prevention of chronic diseases. View Full-Text
Keywords: calamondin; kumquat; essential oils; flavonoids; antioxidant calamondin; kumquat; essential oils; flavonoids; antioxidant

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Chen, M.-H.; Yang, K.-M.; Huang, T.-C.; Wu, M.-L. Traditional Small-Size Citrus from Taiwan: Essential Oils, Bioactive Compounds and Antioxidant Capacity. Medicines 2017, 4, 28.

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