Abstract: The phytochemical content and the antioxidant activity (AA) of physiological drop of the main citrus species grown in China were investigated. Among the flavonoids, hesperidin was found mostly in mandarin and sweet orange, naringin was found mostly in sour orange, pummelo, grapefruit and a hybrid (Gaocheng), narirutin was found in most varieties, neohesperidin was found in Gaocheng and Huyou, and nobiletin and tangeretin were found in most varieties. Hydroxycinnamic acids were the main phenolic acids present, ferulic acid and caffeic acid were the dominant in most cases. There was a greater amount of free (extractable) than bound (insoluble) phenolic acids. Levels of limonoids were higher in Foyou, Eureka lemon, and Gaocheng than those in the other cultivars. The highest level of synephrine was found in Ponkan and Weizhang Satsuma. AA was highest in Ponkan and Weizhang Satsuma and lowest in Huyou, pummel, and lemon. These results suggest that physiological drop of citrus fruits have good potential as sources of different bioactive compounds and antioxidants.
Practical Application: Physiological drop of citrus fruits may be a good resource of bioactive compounds including flavonoids, phenolic acids, limonoids, synephrine, and a good material of nutraceuticals.