Effect of gamma-irradiation on phenolic compounds and phenylalanine ammonia-lyase activity during storage in relation to peel injury from peel of Citrus clementina hort. Ex. tanaka
Oufedjikh, H.; Mahrouz, M.; Amiot, M.J.; Lacroix, M.
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 48(2): 559-565
ISSN/ISBN: 0021-8561 PMID: 10691675 DOI: 10.1021/jf9902402
The influence of gamma-irradiation on the content of phenolic compounds was evaluated on Moroccan Citrus fruits (Citrus clementina Hort. ex. Tanaka) treated at a mean dose of 0.3 kGy and stored for 49 days at 3 degrees C. The results show that irradiation has enhanced the synthesis of total phenolic compounds and is correlated with phenylalanine ammonia-lyase activity (PAL) during storage. Accumulation of phenolic compounds in cells is demonstrated and may be explained by the enhancement of PAL activity. HPLC/UV (diode array detector) analysis demonstrated that hesperidin was the major flavanone and nobiletin and heptamethoxyflavone were the major polymethoxylated flavones. Hesperidin is also the major phenolic compound in clementines. Irradiation stimulates the biosynthesis of hesperidin after 14 days of storage, corresponding to the maximum of PAL activity. p-Coumaric acid was also identified, and its content was particularly high in irradiated fruits after 49 days of storage. Accumulation of flavonoids and p-coumaric acid could be related to a better resistance. The percentage of losses due to peel injury "pitting" during storage was between 1 and 5% after 49 days of storage. The connections between irradiation, enzyme activity, phenolic content, and peel injury are briefly discussed.