BACKGROUND: The objectives of this study were (1) to evaluate the content of ellagic acid in fruits consumed by the Brazilian population, including native ones; (2) to further characterize rich sources in relation to ascorbic acid, phenolics contents and in vitro antioxidant capacity; and (3) to study the distribution and effect of ripening stage on ellagitannins content of jabuticaba (Myrciaria jaboticaba). The content of free ellagic acid and ellagic acid derivatives such as ellagitannins was analyzed using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).
RESULTS: Ellagic acid was detected in 10 out of a total of 35 fruits analyzed. The content of free ellagic acid in fruits varied from 0.0028 to 0.085 g kg−1 (FW) and total ellagic acid varied from 0.215 to 3.11 g kg−1 (FW). All the seven fruits belonging to the Myrtaceae family evaluated in this study presented high contents of ellagitannins in their composition, with jabuticaba, grumixama and cambuci (all native from Brazil) showing the highest total ellagic acid contents. Jabuticaba, the most consumed in Brazil among those and already adapted to commercial plantations, contained concentrated phenolics compounds, including ellagitannins, in the peel. Anthocyanins (cyanidin derivatives) increased significantly through ripening of jabuticaba and were not present in the pulp or seeds. Samples collected from three different locations during summer, winter and spring had total ellagic contents varying from 1.88 to 3.31 g kg−1 (FW). The decrease in ellagic acid content with ripening was more accentuated for pulp (eight times) compared to seeds (2.3 times) and peel (2.0 times).
CONCLUSION: These results showed the potential of jabuticaba as dietary source of ellagic acid and reinforced consumption of the whole fruit by the population. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry