Twenty-eight varieties of Indian jujube were estimated for various health-promoting compounds such as ascorbic acid, total flavonoids, flavanol, O-dihydric phenol and total phenolics. The antioxidant capacity was also measured by cupric reducing antioxidant capacity (CUPRAC), ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) and 1,1 diphenyl-2-picryl hydrazyl (DPPH) assays. The ascorbic acid content varied from 47.81 to 160.12 mg/100 g, total phenolics from 48.69 to 196.34 mg/100 g, total flavonoids from 60.32 to 173.11 mg/100 g, flavanol from 25.21 to 70.59 mg/100 g and O-dihydric phenol from 5.03 to 19.26 mg/100 g fresh weight. The average antioxidant activities were 1.6–6.33 and 1.22–5.49 μM TE/g as determined by the CUPRAC and FRAP assays, respectively. Likewise, according to the results obtained, cv. ZG-3 was found to exhibit the strongest DPPH free radical scavenging activity followed by Katha Phal and Thar Sevika. The study also revealed a considerable amount of variation among the genotypes tested in relation to their phenolic content and antioxidant activity.

Practical Applications

Numerous studies have shown that fruits are a rich source of diverse nutrients and non-nutrient molecules, many of which display antioxidant properties. Indian jujube or ber is an important fruit crop of the hot arid regions in India as it forms an integral part of the life of the locals as a source of nutrition and other purposes. It is therefore important to assess different Indian jujube varieties for the content of various antioxidants in order to better identify their overall nutritional value and to encourage its increased consumption by the general public.