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Six ancient apple varieties and a commercial apple have been studied monitoring their polyphenolic profiles (2017-05-12)


Six ancient apple varieties (Mantovana, Mora, Nesta, Cipolla, Ruggina, Sassola) and a commercial apple (Golden Delicious) have been studied monitoring their polyphenolic profiles.

The research paper by academics from University of Pisa and Sant’Anna School discussed the nutritional composition of most common commercial apple and some of new bioactive phenolic compounds extracted from fresh and dry apples that have shown nutraceutical functions in vitro studies.

The results obtained in this study were published in Food Chemistry journal. Researchers evaluated the range of total polyphenols in fresh and dry apples. The lowest content was found in Golden Delicious.

“Combining Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy with principal component analysis we have identified and quantified several polyphenols (such as catechin and epicathechin) that are important to establish the nutraceutical value of the different investigated apple varieties” - said Professor Valentina Domenici of Department of Chemistry - University of Pisa.

Although some of polyphenol constituents were lost during drying, the antioxidant capacity of some apple varieties remained higher compared to Golden Delicious.

Beside all cultivars, “Cipolla” showed the highest polyphenolic compounds.
Some of polyphenol content remained higher (10% - 20%) in several varieties: this result is important for ancient and underutilized varieties that are not consumed on large scale since they have low attractiveness.

“The appearance of the product usually determines whether an apple is accepted or rejected but dehydrated apples can be used in many cereal, muesli and snack applications.

In this context, the transformation of all six ancient apple varieties cultivated in Casentino area (Tuscany) in alternative products, like dried crispy apples could be viewed as a strategic value to create a competitive advantage” said Professor Luca Sebastiani, director of Sant’Anna School Institute of Life Sciences.

Fore more information
Scuola Universitaria Superiore Pisa

Università di Pisa

Istituto di Scienze della Vita