Evaluation of antioxidant properties of pomegranate peel extract in comparison with pomegranate pulp extract
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Abstract: Pomegranate is an important source of bioactive compounds and has been used for folk medicine for many centuries. Pomegranate juice has been demonstrated to be high in antioxidant activity and is effective in the prevention of atherosclerosis. In a previous study, we found that pomegranate peel had the highest antioxidant activity among the peel, pulp and seed fractions of 28 kinds of fruits commonly consumed in China as determined by FRAP (ferric reducing antioxidant power) assay. In this study, we extracted antioxidants from pomegranate peel, using a mixture of ethanol, methanol and acetone, and the antioxidant properties of the extract were further investigated as compared with the pulp extract. The contents of total phenolics, flavonoids, proathocyanidins and ascorbic acid were also measured. The results showed that pomegranate peel extract had markedly higher antioxidant capacity than the pulp extract in scavenging or preventive capacity against superoxide anion, hydroxyl and peroxyl radicals as well as inhibiting CuSO4-induced LDL oxidation. The contents of total phenolics, flavonoids and proathocyanidins were also higher in peel extract than in pulp extract. The large amount of phenolics contained in peel extract may cause its strong antioxidant ability. We concluded that pomegranate peel extract appeared to have more potential as a health supplement rich in natural antioxidants than the pulp extract and merits further intensive study. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.