Bioactive Flavonoids, Antioxidant Behaviour, and Cytoprotective Effects of Dried Grapefruit Peels (Citrus paradisi Macf.)

Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2016:2016:8915729. doi: 10.1155/2016/8915729. Epub 2016 Jan 21.


Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macf.) is an important cultivar of the Citrus genus which contains a number of nutrients beneficial to human health. The objective of the present study was to evaluate changes in bioactive flavonoids, antioxidant behaviour, and in vitro cytoprotective effect of processed white and pink peels after oven-drying (45°C-60°C) and freeze-drying treatments. Comparison with fresh grapefruit peels was also assessed. Significant increases in DPPH, FRAPS, and ABTS values were observed in dried grapefruit peel samples in comparison with fresh peels, indicating the suitability of the treatments for use as tools to greatly enhance the antioxidant potential of these natural byproducts. A total of thirteen flavonoids were quantified in grapefruit peel extracts by HPLC-MS/MS. It was found that naringin, followed by isonaringin, was the main flavonoid occurring in fresh, oven-dried, and freeze-dried grapefruit peels. In vivo assay revealed that fresh and oven-dried grapefruit peel extracts (45°C) exerted a strong cytoprotective effect on SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cell lines at concentrations ranging within 0.1-0.25 mg/mL. Our data suggest that grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macf.) peel has considerable potential as a source of natural bioactive flavonoids with outstanding antioxidant activity which can be used as agents in several therapeutic strategies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Benzothiazoles / chemistry
  • Biphenyl Compounds / chemistry
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Citrus paradisi / chemistry*
  • Cytoprotection / drug effects*
  • Desiccation*
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology*
  • Freeze Drying
  • Glycosides / analysis
  • Humans
  • Iron / metabolism
  • Oxidation-Reduction / drug effects
  • Picrates / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Polyphenols / pharmacology
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Sulfonic Acids / chemistry


  • Antioxidants
  • Benzothiazoles
  • Biphenyl Compounds
  • Flavonoids
  • Glycosides
  • Picrates
  • Plant Extracts
  • Polyphenols
  • Sulfonic Acids
  • 2,2'-azino-di-(3-ethylbenzothiazoline)-6-sulfonic acid
  • 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl
  • Iron