Antioxidant activity of proanthocyanidins-rich fractions from Choerospondias axillaris peels using a combination of chemical-based methods and cellular-based assay

Food Chem. 2016 Oct 1:208:309-17. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2016.04.012. Epub 2016 Apr 6.


An extract isolated from Choerospondias axillaris peels was separated into five fractions using size-exclusion chromatography. The structural composition and mean degree of polymerization (mDP) of these fractions were then characterized by acid-catalysis followed by HPLC analysis. The antioxidant activity of each fraction was determined using a combination of chemical-based methods (DPPH, ABTS(+) radical scavenging activity, ferric-reducing antioxidant power, and phosphomolybdate assay) and a cellular-based assay. All fractions tested were found to have high total phenolics contents and were rich in proanthocyanidins. The mDP of fractions (F1-F5) ranged from 1.92 to 9.25. When tested by the chemical-based assays, the antioxidant activity of the fractions did not depend on molecular weight of the phenolics. Conversely, when tested by the cellular-based assay the antioxidant activity actually decreased with increasing molecular weight of the proanthocyanidins. These experiments highlight the limitations of using chemical-based assays to establish the antioxidant activity of proanthocyanidins within biological systems.

Keywords: Antioxidants; Cellular-based methods; Choerospondias axillaris; Nutraceuticals; Proanthocyanidins; Structure-activity.

MeSH terms

  • Anacardiaceae / chemistry*
  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells / drug effects
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Phenols / analysis*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Proanthocyanidins / chemistry
  • Proanthocyanidins / pharmacology*


  • Antioxidants
  • Phenols
  • Plant Extracts
  • Proanthocyanidins