Accumulation of Antioxidants in Apricot Fruit through Ripening: Characterization of a Genotype with Enhanced Functional Properties
Two apricot genotypes, 'Gonci magyarkajszi' and 'Preventa' were assayed at three ripening stages for flesh color indices (L*, a*, b*, C* and Hº), contents of total phenolics and vitamin C, and both water- and lipid-soluble antioxidant capacities (ferric reducing antioxidant power; 2,2'-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl scavenging activity; total radical scavenging activity; and Photochem lipid-soluble antioxidant capacity) to compare their dynamics in the accumulation of antioxidant compounds and capacities through ripening. The increase in a*, b* and C* and decrease in Hº during ripening represented a color shift from green to yellow and orange due to carotenoid accumulation. Parallel to carotenoid accumulation, contents of total phenolics and vitamin C and antioxidant capacity increased significantly (p < 0.05) from unripe to fully ripe fruits. More phenolics and vitamin C accumulated in fully ripe fruits of 'Preventa' than 'Gonci magyarkajszi'. The accumulation patterns of these compounds were different: while the vitamin C contents in unripe fruit of 'Preventa' and 'Gonci magyarkajszi' were identical (approx. 6 mg/100 g fresh weight), unripe 'Preventa' contained even more phenolics (approx. 12 mmolGA/l) than fully ripe 'Gonci magyarkajszi' (8 mmolGA/l). Our results confirm that fully ripe 'Preventa' fruits are characterized by outstanding functional properties due to the increased accumulation of vitamin C and phenolics throughout the ripening process.