Diffusion Profiles of Health Beneficial Components from Goji Berry (Lyceum barbarum) Marinated in Alcohol and Their Antioxidant Capacities as Affected by Alcohol Concentration and Steeping Time

Foods. 2013 Jan 25;2(1):32-42. doi: 10.3390/foods2010032.


The fruit (goji berry) of Lycium barbarum, a traditional Chinese medicine, has been widely used in health diets due to its potential role in the prevention of chronic diseases. One of the most popular applications of goji berry is to make goji wine in China by steeping goji berry in grain liquor. However, how the steeping process affects antioxidant capacities and phytochemicals of goji berry is not yet fully understood. Therefore, to provide scientific data for the utilization of goji berry in the nutraceutical industry, the diffusion rate of betaine, β-carotene, phenolic compounds in goji berry and their antioxidant capacities affected by alcohol concentration and steeping time were determined by UV-Visible spectrophotometer. The results showed that low alcohol concentration (15% or 25%) would promote the diffusion of betaine and increase antioxidant activity, while high concentration (55% or 65%) would generally increase the diffusion of flavonoids and reduce antioxidant activity. The steeping time had no significant effect on the diffusion of phenolic compounds and antioxidant activities. However, all goji berry wine steeped for 14 days with different alcohol concentrations exhibited the highest betaine concentration. Current findings provide useful information for the nutraceutical industries to choose proper steeping time and alcohol concentration to yield desired health promotion components from goji.

Keywords: alcohol concentration; antioxidant; betaine; goji berry; phenolics; steeping time; β-carotene.