Chemical and phytochemical properties and antioxidant activities of three pomegranate cultivars grown in South Africa
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A comparative study of chemical contents and antioxidant activities of three pomegranate cultivars (‘Arakta’, ‘Bhagwa’ and ‘Ruby’) grown in South Africa was conducted. Fresh pomegranate juice (PJ) of each cultivar were assessed for soluble solid contents (SSCs), pH and titratable acidity (TA), while extracted juice samples were evaluated for total phenolic (TP), including total tannins (TT), proanthocyanidins (Pcy), total flavonoids, anthocyanins and gallic acids (GA) using spectrophotometric methods. The antioxidant properties of the juice samples were evaluated against stable 2, 2– diphenyl–1–picryl hydrazyl, as well as in ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP) and QuantiChrom™ (TAC) antioxidant assays. There were significant differences in the chemical properties of the cultivars. SSC, TA and pH varied between the range of 14.07–15.10 °Brix, 0.22– 0.28 g/100 ml and 3.32–3.64, respectively. ‘Bhagwa’ had the highest TP (449.9 mg/100 ml), 1.3-fold and 1.6-fold higher than ‘Arakta’ and ‘Ruby’, respectively. The strongest total antioxidant activity was exhibited by ‘Bhagwa’ with an antioxidant index of 95.7%, followed by ‘Arakta’ (93.2%) and ‘Ruby’ (79.9%). PJ phytochemical properties (TP, TT, Pcy, GA) and antioxidant activity (FRAP and TAC) were significantly correlated (r2= 0.509–0.885) with each other.