Influence of Harvest Time on the Chemical Profile of Pereskia aculeate Mill. Using Paper Spray Mass Spectrometry

Molecules. 2022 Jul 2;27(13):4276. doi: 10.3390/molecules27134276.


This study evaluated the physicochemical characteristics and the production of bioactive compounds of Pereskia aculeata Mill. at different harvest times. Here, we performed a qualitative evaluation of the chemical profile by paper spray mass spectrometry (PSMS), the phenolic acid and flavonoid profile by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), antioxidant activity, total carotenoids, total phenolic compounds, total flavonoids, total anthocyanins, color characteristics, total soluble solids (TSS), total solids (TS), pH, and total titratable acidity (TTA). The chemical profile was not affected, with the exception of 4,5-dimethyl-2,6-octadiene and azelaic acid, which was only identified in the leaves harvested during the winter. The content of four phenolic acids and three flavonoids were analyzed; out of these, no significant amounts of ellagic acid and quercetin were detected. There was no difference in production of bioactive compounds between seasons, reflecting the antioxidant activity, which also did not differ. Brightness, chroma, and leaf pH were the only physicochemical characteristics that did not vary between seasons.

Keywords: Barbados gooseberry; HPLC; bioactive compounds; ora-pro-nobis; phytochemicals.

MeSH terms

  • Anthocyanins* / analysis
  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Cactaceae* / chemistry
  • Flavonoids / analysis
  • Mass Spectrometry


  • Anthocyanins
  • Antioxidants
  • Flavonoids

Grants and funding

The authors would like to thank Universidade Federal de São João Del Rei—UFSJ, Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia de Minas Gerais—Campus Bambuí, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais—UFMG and Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais—Fapemig for the financial support.