ABSTRACT.
Phytochemical characterization and antioxidant properties of Prumnopitys andina fruits in different ripening stages in southern Chile

Claudio Inostroza-Blancheteau1, Yoselin Sandoval1, Marjorie Reyes-Diaz2, Ricardo Tighe-Neira1, and Jorge Gonzalez-Villagra1*
 
The native conifer lleuque (Prumnopitys andina (Poepp. ex Endl.) de Laub.) grows in southern Chile, and has an edible and fleshy ovoid fruit. Some species of the genus Prumnopitys are valuable for the medicinal value of their edible fruits. Thus, the aim of this research was to characterize the phytochemical and antioxidant compounds in four ripening stages of P. andina fruits from La Araucanía Region, Chile. Fruit quality related parameters, bromatological, antioxidant and phenolic compounds analyses were performed in order to highlight their potential for human consumption. Our study showed that fresh weight, equatorial diameter, and soluble solid content significantly increased (P < 0.05) in P. andina fruits during ripening, reaching 4.02 ± 0.2 g, 17.9 ± 0.6 mm, and 23.7 ± 0.5 °Brix, respectively, per fruit at stage IV. Our bromatological analyses showed that P. andina fruits had 1.17 ± 0.1 g 100 g-1 DW protein, 1.55 ± 0.2 g 100 g-1 DW crude fiber, and 10.76 ± 2.2 g 100 g-1 DW fruit of ash at fruit ripe. Likewise, we found 2.6 ± 0.2 mg g-1 FW total phenols, 2.2 ± 0.2 mg trolox equivalent g-1 FW of antioxidant activity, and 6.4 ± 0.2 mg rutin equivalent g-1 FW total flavonoid in P. andina fruits. Interestingly, ripening stages I and II showed higher antioxidant compound levels compared to stages III and IV, with the exception of total anthocyanins, which did not change throughout the ripening process. This study shows that P. andina has great potential as a fruit with significant functional properties, which could help promote the propagation, care, and use of this native conifer.
Keywords: Conifer, flavonoids, native species, soluble solids.
1Universidad Católica de Temuco, Facultad de Recursos Naturales, P.O. Box 15-D, Temuco, Chile.
*Corresponding author (jorge.gonzalez@uct.cl).
2Universidad de La Frontera, Departamento de Ciencias Químicas y Recursos Naturales, Casilla 54-D, Temuco, Chile.