JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL AND FOOD CHEMISTRY, vol.51, no.25, pp.7489-7494, 2003 (SCI-Expanded)
Laurocerasus officinalis Roem. is a summer fruit highly characteristic of the Black Sea region. The edible parts of the fruit were tested for chemical composition and antioxidant properties. Total moisture, ash, protein, sugar, pectin, ascorbic acid, phenolic, and mineral contents of the fruit were determined. The antioxidant activity of the fruit was investigated using TLC plate and ferric thiocyanate methods. Its antioxidative character was also tested utilizing hydroxyl, DPPH, and superoxide radical scavenging activity measurements, using BHT, vitamin C, and Trolox as references. Besides being a good source of nutrients, L. officinalis was found to provide a rich source of protective antioxidant compounds. Its antioxidant and radical scavenging activities were comparable to or higher than those of the reference antioxidants. It appeared to have high mineral content. The concentrations of macroelements K, Mg, Ca, and Na were high at 2215 +/- 10.5, 179 +/- 11, 153 +/- 0.8, and 55 +/- 0.3 mg/kg, respectively, and the concentrations of trace elements Mn, Fe, Zn, and Cu were 24.2 +/- 1.3, 8.3 +/- 0.8, 1.9 +/- 0.2, and 0.8 +/- 0.1 mg/kg, respectively. In addition, the fruit showed very low contents of Pb, Ni, Co, and Cr, below the detection limits, which is considered to be a good food quality. As it is a rich source of protein, sugar, ascorbic acid, minerals, and antioxidants, L. officinalis is well worth further studies regarding its components possessing important health benefits and inclusion in the daily diet.