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Chemical composition and antioxidant activity of some apricot varieties at different ripening stages

Olimpia Alina Iordanescu1, Ersilia Alexa2*, Dacian Lalescu2, Adina Berbecea3, Dorin Camen1, Mariana Atena Poiana2, Diana Moigradean2, and Maria Bala1

Apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) is a fruit tree species widespread in Europe due to the high nutritional value of its fruit. In this study, the changes in the chemical composition of seven apricot cultivars were studied during three fruit ripening stages. Proximate composition (water content, ash, lipids, proteins, carbohydrates) was determined by official AOAC methods, macro- and microelements (potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and iron (Fe)) were detected by atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS), while antioxidant capacity and total phenolic compounds were determined by spectrophotometric methods. Vitamin C content was determined by titration using 2,6-dichlorophenol indophenol dye. The present research highlighted the variation between chemical composition as related to variety and stage of maturity. Protein and moisture of apricot fruit decreased during the different ripening stages in all cultivars, while lipids, carbohydrates, and ash content increased during ripening. The water content ranged from 79.87% to 88.6%, protein between 0.66% and 1.3%, and lipids between 0.1%and 0.57%. Generally, the highest macro-element content was detected in the first ripening stage. The total phenolic content dynamics displays a significant increase during ripening. The highest value of ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) activity (0.357 µM Fe2+ g-1 FW) was obtained for ‘Sirena’ at the half-ripe stage, while the lowest value was detected for the same cultivar at the unripe stage (0.045 µM Fe2+ g-1). In conclusion, the study of the chemical composition in different development stages represents a useful tool in horticulture to optimize the management of the nutritional potential of apricot fruit.

Key words: Antioxidant activity, apricot, elements, polyphenols, proximate composition, Prunus armeniaca.

1Banat’s University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine “King Michael I of Romania” from Timisoara, Faculty of Horticulture and Forestry, Calea Aradului 119, Timisoara 300645, Romania.
2Banat’s University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine “King Michael I of Romania” from Timisoara, Calea Aradului 119, Faculty of Food Processing Technology, Timisoara 300645, Romania.
*Corresponding author (alexa.ersilia@yahoo.ro).
3Banat’s University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine “King Michael I of Romania” from Timisoara, Faculty of Agriculture, Calea Aradului 119, Timisoara 300645, Romania.

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