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Effect of light irradiation on the antioxidant stability of oleuropein

Longo, Edoardo, Morozova, Ksenia, Scampicchio, Matteo
Food chemistry 2017 v.237 pp. 91-97
Olea europaea, antioxidants, enzymatic treatment, ethanol, irradiation, oleuropein, solvents, spectrometers, ultraviolet radiation, ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy
The stability of oleuropein, a natural antioxidant from Olea europaea, has been often studied in connection with thermal or enzymatic treatments, but very little is known about the effects of UV light. This work aimed at studying the UV-C effects on oleuropein standard solutions once dissolved in ethanol or water. During irradiation, aliquots were taken and analyzed by a flow injection system equipped with a multi-channel coulometric detector and a high-resolution mass spectrometer. The effects of irradiation were also studied by UV spectroscopy. The results show that oleuropein is relatively stable in water or ethanol, but that under UV-C light undergoes a series of fast decomposition reactions leading to hydroxytyrosol and elenolic acid. Overall, this study provides evidences that the degradation of oleuropein by UV-C light follows a mechanism dependent on the solvent used. Moreover, the solvent affects the resulting redox properties of the solution.