Antigenotoxicity and antioxidant activity of Acerola fruit (Malpighia glabra L.) at two stages of ripeness

Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2011 Jun;66(2):129-35. doi: 10.1007/s11130-011-0223-7.


Genotoxic and antigenotoxic effects of acerola fruit at two stages of ripeness were investigated using mice blood cells. The results show that no ripeness stage of acerola extracts presented any genotoxic potential to damage DNA (Comet assay) or cytotoxicity (MTT assay). When antigenotoxic activity was analyzed, unripe fruit presented higher DNA protection than ripe fruit (red color) extract. The antioxidant capacity of substances also showed that unripe samples inhibit the free radical DPPH more significantly than the ripe ones. The results about determination of compounds made using HPLC showed that unripe acerola presents higher levels of vitamin C as compared to ripe acerola. Thus, vitamin C and the complex mixture of nutrients of Malpighia glabra L., and especially its ripeness stages, influenced the interaction of the fruit extract with the DNA. Acerola is usually consumed when ripe (red fruit), although it is the green fruit (unripe) that has higher potential as beneficial to DNA, protecting it against oxidative stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antimutagenic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Ascorbic Acid / analysis
  • Biphenyl Compounds / metabolism
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Comet Assay
  • Cytotoxicity Tests, Immunologic
  • DNA Damage / drug effects*
  • Free Radicals / metabolism
  • Fruit / chemistry
  • Fruit / physiology
  • Leukocytes / drug effects
  • Leukocytes / physiology
  • Male
  • Malpighiaceae / chemistry*
  • Malpighiaceae / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Picrates / metabolism
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*


  • Antimutagenic Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Biphenyl Compounds
  • Free Radicals
  • Picrates
  • Plant Extracts
  • 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl
  • Ascorbic Acid