Phytochemical Profile and Antioxidant, Antiproliferative, and Antimicrobial Properties of Rubus idaeus Seed Powder

Foods. 2022 Aug 27;11(17):2605. doi: 10.3390/foods11172605.


In the context of the contemporary research on sustainable development and circular economy, the quest for effective strategies aimed at revaluation of waste and by-products generated in industrial and agricultural production becomes important. In this work, an ethanolic extract from red raspberry (Rubus idaeus) seed waste (WRSP) was evaluated for its phytochemical composition and functional properties in term of antioxidative, antiproliferative, and antimicrobial activities. Chemical composition of the extract was determined by both HPLC-ESI-MS/MS and spectrophotometric methods. Phytochemical analysis revealed that flavan-3-ols and flavonols were the major phenolic compounds contained in WRSP. The extract demonstrated very high radical-scavenging (4.86 ± 0.06 µmol TE/DW) and antioxidant activity in a cell-based model (0.178 ± 0.03 mg DW/mL cell medium). The WRSP extract also exhibited antiproliferative activity against three different epithelial cancer cell lines (MCF-7, HepG2, and HeLa cells) in a dose-dependent manner. Finally, microbiological assays showed the absence of colonies of bacteria and microscopic fungi (yeasts and molds) and revealed that the WRSP extract has a large inhibition spectrum against spoilage and pathogenic bacteria, without inhibitory activity against pro-technological bacteria. In conclusion, the obtained results show that WRSP is a rich source of phytochemical compounds exerting interesting biological activities. For these reasons WRSP could find applications in the nutritional, nutraceutical, and pharmacological fields.

Keywords: agricultural waste; anticancer activity; cellular oxidative stress; minimum inhibitor concentration; phytochemicals; red raspberry; sustainability.

Grants and funding

This research was partially funded by the University of Palermo, FFR2021 Carla Gentile.