Affiliation: Department of Medical Laboratory Technology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Beirut Arab University, Beirut, Lebanon.
Retrospectively, we have measured the antioxidant activity and a variety of antioxidant compounds under versatile extraction conditions of sweet cherry (Prunus avium) extracts. Further in this study, in order to understand the biochemical constituents and antioxidant activities of a variety of extracts of black sour cherries (P. cerasus), a related species, antioxidant compounds, including L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C), phenols, flavonoids, and anthocyanins, and the total antioxidant activity were simultaneously measured under varying extraction conditions (mild heating and brief microwave exposure) for: i) whole juice extracts (WJE), ii) methanol-extracted juice (MEJ), iii) ddH2O-extracted pomace (dPOM), and iv) methanol-extracted pomace (mPOM). The antioxidant activity for WJE was substantially increased with mild and prolonged exposure to either heating or microwave, such that the % inhibition against 2,2-diphenyl-1-bspicrylhydrazyl (DPPH) followed a positive correlation (heating, 5 – 20 min.; microwave, 1 – 2 min.), insignificant with MEJ and dPOM, whereas with mPOM there was sharp downregulation. L-Ascorbic acid content was not affected with mild to prolonged heating or microwave exposure (WEJ and mPOM), except a mild increase with MEJ and dPOM. Similarly, total phenols assessed showed no significant variations, as compared with control extracts, except a mild decrease with exposure for mPOM. In a manner similar to L-ascorbic acid, total flavonoid content was increased under varying conditions for WEJ and MEJ, and slightly decreased for dPOM and mPOM. On the other hand, anthocyanins showed differential variations with exposure (up- and downregulation). Assessment of extraction means as compared with WJE revealed sharp increase in the antioxidant activity for MEJ, dPOM and mPOM, significant increase in L-ascorbic acid, total phenol, and flavonoid contents for MEJ, dPOM and mPOM, and mild decrease in anthocyanin contents for MEJ, dPOM, and mPOM. These results substantiate the measurable antioxidant activities and contents of P. cerasus extracts under versatile conditions of mild exposure, an effect bearing significant fluctuation with biochemical properties. Since many of those molecules are known to have immuno-biochemical constituencies, antioxidant compounds in sour cherries may have putative antiinflammatory potential and applications in medicinal chemistry, corroborating the observation of regulating and attenuating the growth of microorganisms of medical importance in vitro.