Grapefruits (Citrus paradisi Macfad) contain several phytochemicals known to have health maintaining properties. Due to the consumer's interest in obtaining high levels of these phytochemicals, it is important to understand the changes in their levels by common household processing techniques. Therefore, mature Texas "Rio Red" grapefruits were processed by some of the common household processing practices such as blending, juicing, and hand squeezing techniques and analyzed for their phytochemical content by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Results suggest that grapefruit juice processed by blending had significantly (P < 0.05) higher levels of flavonoids (narirutin, naringin, hesperidin, neohesperidin, didymin, and poncirin) and limonin compared to juicing and hand squeezing. No significant variation in their content was noticed in the juice processed by juicing and hand squeezing. Ascorbic acid and citric acid were significantly (P < 0.05) higher in juice processed by juicing and blending, respectively. Furthermore, hand squeezed fruit juice had significantly higher contents of dihydroxybergamottin (DHB) than juice processed by juicing and blending. Bergamottin and 5-methoxy-7 gernoxycoumarin (5-M-7-GC) were significantly higher in blended juice compared to juicing and hand squeezing. Therefore, consuming grapefruit juice processed by blending may provide higher levels of health beneficial phytochemicals such as naringin, narirutin, and poncirin. In contrast, juice processed by hand squeezing and juicing provides lower levels of limonin, bergamottin, and 5-M-7-GC. These results suggest that, processing techniques significantly influence the levels of phytochemicals and blending is a better technique for obtaining higher levels of health beneficial phytochemicals from grapefruits. Practical Application: Blending, squeezing, and juicing are common household processing techniques used for obtaining fresh grapefruit juice. Understanding the levels of health beneficial phytochemicals present in the juice processed by these techniques would enable the consumers to make a better choice to obtain high level of these compounds.
© 2012 Institute of Food Technologists®