BACKGROUND: The replacement of synthetic antioxidants by safe natural antioxidants fosters research on the screening of vegetables and food as sources of new antioxidants. Moreover, oxidative degeneration of cells is associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. On the basis of these considerations this work aimed to investigate the antioxidant properties [by using the diphenyl picryl hydrazyl, 2,2′-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) and ferric reducing ability of plasma assays, and the β-carotene bleaching test] and the anti-cholinesterase activity of Citrus aurantifolia peel and leaves from different areas of growth.
RESULTS: Methanol extracts of the peel and leaves demonstrated the strongest radical scavenging activity. A similar trend was observed with the reducing ability, with values from 112.1 to 146.0 µmol L−1 Fe(II) g−1. The relationship between phenol and flavonoid contents and antioxidant activity was statistically investigated. Based on analysis by high-performance liquid chromatography, the most abundant flavonoids found in C. aurantifolia extracts were apigenin, rutin, quercetin, kaempferol and nobiletin. n-Hexane fractions of both peel and leaves showed a good acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity with IC50 values in the range 91.4-107.4 µg mL−1. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis revealed the presence of monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes as most common components.
CONCLUSION: The findings of this study suggest a potential use of C. aurantifolia peel and leaves for supplements for human health. Copyright © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry