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Nutraceutical Properties of Mulberries Grown in Southern Italy (Apulia)


Nutraceutical Properties of Mulberries Grown in Southern Italy (Apulia)

Carmine Negro et al. Antioxidants (Basel).


In this work, for the first time, were analyzed mulberry genotypes grown in Apulia (Southern Italy, Salento region) were analyzed. Two local varieties of Morus alba (cv. Legittimo nero and cv. Nello) and one of Morus nigra were characterized for content in simple sugars, organic acids, phenols, anthocyanins; fruit antioxidant activity (AA) was also evaluated by three different methods (2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl, DPPH; 2,2'-Azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid), ABTS; and Ferric reducing antioxidant potential, FRAP test). The results showed that the sugars amount ranged between 6.29 and 7.66 g/100 g fresh weight (FW) while the malic and citric acids content was low, at about 0.1-1 g/100 g FW. Mulberries are a good source of phenols which are present in higher values in M. nigra and M. alba cv. Legittimo nero (485 and 424 mg Gallic Acid Equivalent (GAE)/ 100 g FW, respectively). The high performance liquid chromatography/diode array detector/mass spectrometry (HPLC/DAD/MS) analysis identified 5 main anthocyanin compounds present in different concentrations in each variety of mulberry: cyanidin 3-sophoroside, cyanidin 3-glucoside, cyanidin 3-rutinoside, pelargonidin 3-glucoside, pelargonidin 3-rutinoside. The highest concentration of anthocyanins was determined in Morus alba Legittimo (about 300 mg/100 g FW) while the lowest content (about 25 mg/100 g FW) was measured in M. alba cv. Nello. Morus nigra showed a good AA in comparison with the different M. alba genotypes with all the used methods; its AA was equal to 33, 26 and 21 μmols Trolox/g FW when using DPPH, ABTS and FRAP tests, respectively. All genotypes showed an anti-inflammatory activity (measured by cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitory assay) which was also compared with two commercial anti-inflammatory drugs. The data obtained support the high biological qualities of mulberry fruits and their diffusion in human nutrition.

Keywords: Morus alba); anti-inflammatory activity; antioxidant activity; high performance liquid chromatography/diode array detector/mass spectrometry anthocyanins; mulberry (Morus nigra; organic acids; phenol compounds; simple sugars.

Conflict of interest statement

The authours declare no conflit of interest.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Typical HPLC/DAD/MS analysis (recorded at 520 nm) of the anthocyanins present in mulberry fruit extracts (M. nigra). (1) cyanidin-3-O-sophoroside, (2) cyanidin-3-O-glucoside, (3) cyanidin-3-O-rutinoside, (4) pelargonidin -3-O-glucoside and (5) pelargonidin -3-O-rutinoside.

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