The antioxidant, antibrowning, and cytoprotective activities of Ligustrum robustum (Rxob.) Blume extract (LRE) were investigated and the main antioxidant component was isolated and identified. With its high content of phenols and flavonoids, the LRE showed remarkable antioxidant capacity to scavenge free radicals in vitro and to inhibit oil oxidation in a peanut oil system. Moreover, LRE was observed to inhibit tyrosinase action and browning of fresh-cut apple slices effectively. Furthermore, the cytoprotective activity of LRE was evaluated in a human intestine model using Caco-2 cell lines. According to the activity-guided isolation and identification, by using column chromatography, high-performance liquid chromatography, time-of-flight mass spectrometry, and nuclear magnetic resonance analyses, ursolic acid was characterized as the main antioxidant component of LRE; it showed the strongest free radical-scavenging activity. The results suggested that L. robustum (Rxob.) Blume could be a new resource for preparing functional food and nutraceutical products for use in food and pharmacology industries.
With significant antioxidant, antibrowning, and cytoprotective activities, Ligustrum robustum (Rxob.) Blume was found to be a new resource for preparing functional food and nutraceutical products for use in food and pharmacology industries.