Abstract: Ripe and unripe exotic pepino fruit were evaluated for antioxidant activity, total phenols, and flavonoid content. The antioxidant potency was investigated by employing various established in vitro systems, such as 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), 2–2′-azinobis(3-ethylbenthiazoline-6-sulphonic acid (ABTS), hydroxyl radical scavenging, reducing power, ferrous ion chelation, ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP), and lipid peroxidation. The EC50 values of ripe ethanolic extract on DPPH radical, reducing power, ferrous ion chelation, ABTS radical, FRAP, hydroxyl radical, lipid peroxidation (brain), and lipid peroxidation (liver) were obtained to be 2.20, 2.81, <5.00, 34.06, 8.53, 1.30, 1.75, and 0.51 mg/mL, respectively. However, the EC50 values for unripe fruit extract were noted to be 3.75, 3.40, 11.25, 40.12, 9.75, 0.80, 1.91, and 0.63 mg/mL, respectively. Ripe fruit exhibited the highest values of antioxidant activity in all the scavenging assays except for hydroxyl radical scavenging assay. Ripe pepino had higher total phenol and flavonoid content than unripe fruit. This study suggests that possible mechanism of the biological activities may be due to free radical scavenging and antioxidant characteristics, which may be due to the presence of polyphenols in the fruit extracts.
Practical Application: The ripe and unripe pepino fruit have excellent antioxidant properties, so the results obtained in this study clearly indicate that pepino fruit has a significant potential to use as a natural antioxidant agent and possibly as a food supplement.