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Targeted metabolite profiling to gain chemometric insight into Indian pomegranate cultivars and elite germplasm

Singh, Sukhvinder Pal, Pal, Ram Krishna, Saini, Manpreet Kaur, Singh, Jagdeep, Gaikwad, Nilesh, Parashuram, Shilpa, Kaur, Charanjit
Journal of the science of food and agriculture 2019 v.99 no.11 pp. 5073-5082
acidity, polyphenols, mass spectrometry, dietary supplements, liquid chromatography, cyanidin, drugs, human health, breeding programs, secondary metabolites, genotype, fructose, citric acid, anthocyanins, germplasm, cultivars, genetic improvement, ellagic acid, chemometrics, antioxidant activity, ferulic acid, ascorbic acid, fruits, pomegranates, delphinidin, color, aril, India
BACKGROUND: Pomegranate fruit is an excellent source of bioactive polyphenolics, known to contribute significantly to human health. India is the largest producer of pomegranate in the world and produces the finest quality fruit with highly desirable consumer traits such as soft seeds, low acidity, and attractive fruit and aril color. Knowledge of the extent of variation in key metabolites (sugars, organic acids, phenolics, and anthocyanins) is key to selecting superior genotypes for germplasm improvement. Relevant information with respect to Indian genotypes is scarce. The present study therefore aims to evaluate quantitatively important metabolites in some cultivars and elite germplasm of pomegranate in India. RESULTS: Identification and quantification of primary and secondary metabolites such as sugars, organic acids, vitamin C, polyphenolics, and anthocyanins were conducted using a liquid chromatography – mass spectrometry (LC–MS) platform. Fructose and citric acid were the predominant sugar and organic acid, respectively. Wild genotypes had significantly higher concentrations of organic acids, antioxidant activity, and phenolics, namely punicalagin, ellagic acid, sinapic, and ferulic acid. CONCLUSION: Cyanidin and delphinidin derivatives of anthocyanins were more abundant in red aril commercial genotypes. Results suggest that wild‐sour accessions represent a rich source of polyphenolics that can be utilized in future breeding programs to breed healthier varieties, food supplements, and pharmaceutical products. © 2019 Society of Chemical Industry