Background: Cocoa pod is an outer part of cocoa fruits being discarded during cocoa bean processing. Authors found out that data on its usage in literature as cosmetic materials was not recorded in vast. In this study, cocoa pod extract was investigated for its potential as a cosmetic ingredient.
Methods: Cocoa pod extract (CPE) composition was accomplished using UHPLC. The antioxidant capacity were measured using scavenging assay of 1,2-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), β-carotene bleaching assay (BCB) and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP). Inhibiting effect on skin degradation enzymes was carried out using elastase and collagenase assays. The skin whitening effect of CPE was determined based on mushroom tyrosinase assay and sun screening effect (UV-absorbance at 200-400 nm wavelength).
Results: LC-MS/MS data showed the presence of carboxylic acid, phenolic acid, fatty acid, flavonoids (flavonol and flavones), stilbenoids and terpenoids in CPE. Results for antioxidant activity exhibited that CPE possessed good antioxidant activity, based on the mechanism of the assays compared with ascorbic acid (AA) and standardized pine bark extract (PBE); DPPH: AA > CPE > PBE; FRAP: PBE > CPE > AA; and BCB: BHT > CPE > PBE. Cocoa pod extract showed better action against elastase and collagenase enzymes in comparison with PBE and AA. Higher inhibition towards tyrosinase enzyme was exhibited by CPE than kojic acid and AA, although lower than PBE. CPE induced proliferation when tested on human fibroblast cell at low concentration. CPE also exhibited a potential as UVB sunscreen despite its low performance as a UVA sunscreen agent.
Conclusions: Therefore, the CPE has high potential as a cosmetic ingredient due to its anti-wrinkle, skin whitening, and sunscreen effects.