Carotenoids and phenolic profile, antioxidant activity as well as concentrations of selected macronutrients (K, N, Mg, Ca and Na) and micronutrients (Zn, Cu and Mn) in flesh and peel of peach fruit were recorded at two harvest dates. Predominant mineral was potassium, followed by calcium, magnesium and sodium. The concentration of most micronutrients was greater in the peel than in the flesh especially in early season. The concentration of most elements in flesh and peel decreased during fruit maturation. Total carotenoids content varied with respect to the cultivar. β-cryptoxanthin and β-carotene were the major carotenoids in both tissues and flesh contain the lowest amounts. Neochlorogenic acid, chlorogenic acid, catechin, epicatechin, gallic acid, rutin, quercetin-3-O-galactoside, cyanidin-3-O-glucoside, cyanidin-3-O-rutinoside, were detected in both peel and flesh, with chlorogenic acid and catechin being the predominant components. Peel extracts showed markedly higher antioxidant activities, when estimated by ABTS or DPPH assays, than the flesh counterparts, consistent with the observed higher phenolic content. Overall, total phenolics levels increased at full ripening stage in both peel and flesh. The results found herein provide important data on carotenoids, phenolic and macro- and micronutrient changes during fruit growth, and emphases peach fruit as a potential functional food.
Keywords: Antioxidant activity; Carotenoids; Mineral elements; Phenolic profile; Prunus persica; Ripening.