Abstract: The antibrowning and antimicrobial activities of the water-soluble extract from pine needles of Cedrus deodara (CDE), a traditional Chinese medicine and raw materials of pine needle tea, was investigated. Total phenols of CDE were 31.4 ± 0.53 mg gallic acid equivalent/g, and total flavonoids were 23.1 ± 0.79 mg rutin equivalent/g. CDE showed a strong antioxidant activity against ABTS free radicals with IC50 (the half-inhibitory concentration) of 25.5 ± 0.64 μg/mL. In mushroom tyrosinase inhibitory assay, IC50 values were 2.1 ± 0.98 and 2.27 ± 0.93 mg/mL for monophenolase and diphenolase, respectively. Evaluated by detecting changes of L* (indicated the darkness of sample), a* (indicated the redness of sample), and b* (indicated the yellowness of sample) values in fresh-cut apple slices model, CDE showed a significant antibrowning effect when compared with ascorbic acid. In addition, it was discovered that CDE in combination with 0.5% ascorbic acid exhibited a synergistic antibrowning effect. Meanwhile, CDE was observed to show a potent antimicrobial effect on all of the tested Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. In conclusion, the results of the present research suggested that pine needles of C. deodara could be used as a natural resource of antibrowning and antimicrobial agents in food preservation.
Practical Application: The present study provides a theoretical basis for the potential application of pine needles of C. deodara to be used as a natural resource of antibrowning and antimicrobial agents in food industry.