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Nutraceutical Characteristics of Ancient Malus x domestica Borkh. Fruits Recovered across Siena in Tuscany

1
Department of Life Sciences, University of Siena, I-53100 Siena, Italy
2
Trees and Timber Institute-National Research Council of Italy (CNR-IVALSA), I-58022 Follonica, Italy
3
Environmental Research and Innovation Department, Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology, L-4362 Esch/Alzette, Luxembourg
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Medicines 2019, 6(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines6010027
Received: 24 January 2019 / Revised: 9 February 2019 / Accepted: 12 February 2019 / Published: 18 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Potential and Medical Use of Secondary Metabolites)
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PDF [273 KB, uploaded 18 February 2019]

Abstract

Background: A diet rich in fruits and vegetables contributes to lowering the risk of chronic diseases. The fruits of Malus x domestica are a rich dietary source of bioactive compounds, namely vitamins and antioxidants, with recognized action on human health protection. Tuscany is known for its rich plant biodiversity, especially represented by ancient varieties of fruit trees. Particularly noteworthy are the many ancient Tuscan varieties of apple trees. Methods: Sugar quantification via HPLC and spectrophotometric assays to quantify the antioxidant power and total polyphenol content revealed interesting differences in 17 old varieties of Malus x domestica Borkh. recovered in Siena (Tuscany). Results: The quantification of antioxidants, polyphenols, and the main free sugars revealed that their content in the old fruits was often superior to the widespread commercial counterparts (‘Red Delicious’ and ‘Golden Delicious’). Such differences were, in certain cases, dramatic, with 8-fold higher values. Differences were also present for sugars and fibers (pectin). Most ancient fruits displayed low values of glucose and high contents of xylitol and pectin. Conclusions: The results reported here suggest the possible use of ancient apple varieties from Siena for nutraceutical purposes and draw attention to the valorization of local old varieties. View Full-Text
Keywords: Malus x domestica; Tuscany; ancient varieties; nutraceutics; antioxidants; polyphenols; sugars; pectin Malus x domestica; Tuscany; ancient varieties; nutraceutics; antioxidants; polyphenols; sugars; pectin
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Berni, R.; Cantini, C.; Guarnieri, M.; Nepi, M.; Hausman, J.-F.; Guerriero, G.; Romi, M.; Cai, G. Nutraceutical Characteristics of Ancient Malus x domestica Borkh. Fruits Recovered across Siena in Tuscany. Medicines 2019, 6, 27.

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