Natural compounds from agro-food by-products have fostered interest in food industries. The aim of this study was to unravel potential uses for Pinus pinaster bark extracts (PBE). As functional features of this type of extracts are usually attributed to phenolic compounds, the extraction process was studied. Different PBEs were achieved, with high content in phenolic compounds, using different water/ethanol combinations as a solvent. These PBEs were chemically characterized, and their bioactivity and in vitro cell viability were evaluated. Extracts obtained with hydroethanolic solvents had higher content in phenolic and flavonoid compounds. All the PBEs presented high antioxidant, antibacterial and antihyperglycemic activities. Moreover, PBEs have low cytotoxicity and a selective activity against cancer cells as these were negatively affected. These features may allow the extracts to be used in food formulation and processing (as preservatives, antioxidants or bioactive ingredients), but they showed also potential for the pharmaceutical or nutraceutical sectors.
Keywords: Pinus pinaster bark; antihyperglycemic activity; antimicrobial activity; antioxidant activity; cells’ metabolism; extraction; flavonoid compounds; phenolic compounds; pine bark extracts.