Abstract: Five commercial pear cultivars were investigated for total phenolics and flavonoids contents, the main phenolic compounds, and their antioxidant and antiinflammation capacities. Four in vitro oxidant and 2 in vivo antiinflammation models were used to evaluate the pharmacological activities of the different pears. The main phenolic compounds were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography with diode-array detector, which result indicated that gallic acid ranged from 5.23 to 10.72 μg/g, catechin from 0.41 to 28.83 μg/g, chlorogenic acid from 485.11 to 837.03 μg/g, caffeic acid from 0 to 1.16 μg/g, epicatechin from 6.73 to 131.49 μg/g, and rutin from 0.92 to 104.64 μg/g. The total antioxidant capacity was in descending order: Shuijing > Fengshui > Xuehua > Ya > Xiang pear, which was consistent with the total phenol and flavonoid contents. Thus, the antioxidant capacity of pears may be attributed to their high contents of phenolics and flavonoids. However, the antiinflammation activity was in decreasing order: Xuehua > Xiang > Ya > Fengshui > Shuijing pear, which indicates that compounds other than antioxidants may be responsible for the antiinflammation effect.
Practical Application: The importance on antioxidant activities of phenolic compounds in foods and vegetables as natural antioxidants has reached a new high in recent years. In this study, the total phenol and flavonoid contents, and the antioxidant and antiinflammation activities of 5 different types of commercial pears in China were investigated, which may be the experimental basis for the further development and utilization of the pears.