Characterization and quantitation of low and high molecular weight phenolic compounds in apple seeds

J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Feb 8;60(5):1232-42. doi: 10.1021/jf204623d. Epub 2012 Jan 26.


The phenolic constituents of seeds of 12 different apple cultivars were fractionated by sequential extraction with aqueous acetone (30:70, v/v) and ethyl acetate after hexane extraction of the lipids. Low molecular weight phenolic compounds were individually quantitated by RP-HPLC-DAD. The contents of extractable and nonextractable procyanidins were determined by applying RP-HPLC following thiolysis and n-butanol/HCl hydrolysis, respectively. As expected, the results revealed marked differences of the ethyl acetate extracts, aqueous acetone extracts, and insoluble residues with regard to contents and mean degrees of polymerization of procyanidins. Total phenolic contents in the defatted apple seed residues ranged between 18.4 and 99.8 mg/g. Phloridzin was the most abundant phenolic compound, representing 79-92% of monomeric polyphenols. Yields of phenolic compounds significantly differed among the cultivars under study, with seeds of cider apples generally being richer in phloridzin and catechins than seeds of dessert apple cultivars. This is the first study presenting comprehensive data on the contents of phenolic compounds in apple seeds comprising extractable and nonextractable procyanidins. Furthermore, the present work points out a strategy for the sustainable and complete exploitation of apple seeds as valuable agro-industrial byproducts, in particular as a rich source of phloridzin and antioxidant flavanols.

MeSH terms

  • Malus / chemistry*
  • Molecular Weight
  • Phenols / chemistry*
  • Seeds / chemistry*


  • Phenols