Several fruit characteristics of five loquat (Eriobotrya japonica (Thunb.) Lindl.) cultivars/selections grown in Dörtyol, Hatay, Turkey were investigated in 2008. The cultivars/selections included 'Baduna 5', Güzelyurt 1, 'Hafif Cukurgöbek', 'Ottaviani,' and Type 1. The characteristics evaluated included fruit weight, width, length, seed number and weight, flesh/seed ratio, total soluble solids (TSS), pH, acidity, total phenolic (TP) content, and total antioxidant capacity (TAC), determined by the ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assay. The analyses were conducted by three replicates, with 30 fruits in each replicate. The results indicated that there were significant differences among the cultivars, for all the traits tested. For example, 'Hafif Cukurgöbek' and 'Ottaviani' had smaller fruits than others, although 'Hafif Cukurgöbek' had heavier seeds. The flesh/seed ratio was the highest in Type 1, while 'Hafif Cukurgöbek' had the highest pH and high soluble solids. 'Baduna 5' and 'Hafif Cukurgöbek' had the highest acidity. The TP ranged from 129 ('Baduna 5') to 578 ('Hafif Cukurgöbek') mg gallic acid equivalent (GAE)/kg fresh fruit (fw). 'Hafif Cukurgöbek' also had the highest FRAP mean (12.1 mmol Trolox Equivalent (TE)/kg fw). The results suggest that loquat cultivars have a variable range of TP content and a relatively high total antioxidant capacity, which is crucial for human health.
Keywords: Antioxidant; Eriobotrya japonica; TEAC; ferric reducing ability of plasma; fruit; phenolics; pomology.