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Phytochemical profile and biological activities of 'Ora-pro-nobis' leaves (Pereskia aculeata Miller), an underexploited superfood from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest

Garcia, Jéssica A.A., Corrêa, Rúbia C.G., Barros, Lillian, Pereira, Carla, Abreu, Rui M.V., Alves, Maria José, Calhelha, Ricardo C., Bracht, Adelar, Peralta, Rosane M., Ferreira, Isabel C.F.R.
Food chemistry 2019 v.294 pp. 302-308
2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl, Gram-negative bacteria, Pereskia aculeata, antibacterial properties, antioxidant activity, caffeic acid, caftaric acid, forests, glycosides, isorhamnetin, kaempferol, leaf extracts, leaves, quercetin
Pereskia aculeata Miller, known worldwide as ora-pro-nobis, is a highly nutritive species of the Cactaceae family from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. In this work, we report inedited information on the phenolic profile of P. aculeata leaves, besides a broad study of their antioxidant potential using a set of five different methods. A total of ten phenolic compounds were identified, such as two phenolic acids (caffeic acid derivatives) and eight flavonoids (quercetin, kaempferol and isorhamnetin glycoside derivatives). Caftaric acid was the extract’s major phenolic constituent, accounting for more than 49% of the phenolic content, followed by quercetin-3-O-rutinoside (14.99%) and isorhamnetin-O-pentoside-O-rutinoside (9.56%). Overall, the ora-pro-nobis leaf extract showed relevant values of antioxidant capacity, with higher activities than the Trolox in the DPPH and ABTS trials. The antimicrobial activity exhibited by the extract against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria suggests the presence of a broad spectrum of phytochemicals with antibiotic activity.