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J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Oct 3;55(20):8165-9. Epub 2007 Sep 7.

Cultivars of apple fruits that are not marketed with potential for anthocyanin production.

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  • 1Bioactive Natural Products and Phytoceuticals, Department of Horticulture and National Food Safety and Toxicology Center, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, USA.


The red coloration of apple skin is mainly due to anthocyanins that are reported to possess health benefits. The aim of the present study was to determine the anthocyanin content in three underutilized Malus pumila Mill cultivars, Cranberry, Kerr, and Niedzwetzkyana, and confirm their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities. Our analysis revealed that the three cultivars studied contained primarily cyanidin-3-O-glucosyl rutinoside (1) at >99%. The anthocyanin was purified by C-18 medium pressure liquid chromatography and characterized by NMR spectral methods. The quantification of anthocyanins in M. pumila cultivars revealed that Cranberry, Kerr, and Niedzwetzkyana contained 1.12, 0.55, and 0.36 mg/g of fresh weight of 1, respectively. The lipid peroxidation (LPO) and cyclooxygenase enzyme (COX) inhibitory activities of 1 in water were compared with the activities of cyanidin-3-O-rutinoside (2) and cyanidin-3-O-glucoside (3) found in cherries and berries. There is a significant increase in LPO and COX enzyme-inhibitory activities of anthocyanin when tested in water compared to using dimethylsulfoxide as the carrier. The LPO inhibition of anthocyanins 1, 2, and 3 were 53.3, 68.3, and 87.9, respectively, at a 0.25 microM concentration. They inhibited the COX-1 enzyme by 42.7, 45.2, and 50.4 and COX-2 by 52.7, 61.5, and 68.5, respectively, at 5 microM. The LPO inhibitory values for commercial standards, BHA, BHT, and TBHQ, were 85, 89, and 94%, respectively at 1 microM. Similarly, positive controls aspirin, celecoxib, and robecoxib inhibited COX-1 and -2 enzymes by 68.6, 40.7, and 0% and 26.6, 72.2, and 92.4%, respectively, at 60, 26, and 32 nM.

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