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Identification and antioxidant potential of flavonoids and low molecular weight phenols in olive cultivar Chemlali growing in Tunisia

Bouaziz, M., Grayer, R.J., Simmonds, M.S.J., Damak, M., Sayadi, S.
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2005 v.53 no.2 pp. 236-241
Olea europaea, cultivars, olives, fruit composition, phenolic compounds, flavonoids, antioxidants, antioxidant activity, oleuropein, Tunisia
Increasing interest in phenolic compounds in olives is due to their antioxidant and health-enhancing properties. In this study the phenolics in fruits of the Tunisian olive cultivar Chemlali were extracted by methanol-water and fractionated using Sephadex LH-20 column chromatography. The identification of phenolic monomers and flavonoids was based on separation by high-performance liquid chromatography equipped with a diode array detector followed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis. Oleuropein, a secoiridoid glycoside esterified with a phenolic acid, was the major compound. Eight phenolic monomers and 12 flavonoids were also identified in Chemlali olives. Five flavonoids were isolated and purified using Sephadex LH-20 column chromatography and preparative paper chromatography. The antioxidant activity of the extract and the purified compounds was evaluated by measuring the radical scavenging effect on 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl and by using the beta-carotene-linoleate model assay. Acid hydrolysis of the extract enhanced its antioxidant activity. Hydroxytyrosol and quercetin showed antioxidant activities similar to that of 2,6-di-tert-butyl-4-methylphenol. A hydroxyl group at the ortho position at 3' on the B ring of the flavonoid nucleus could contribute to the antioxidant activity of the flavonoids.