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J Sci Food Agric. 2011 Jan 30;91(2):286-92. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.4183.

Stability of Pycnogenol® as an ingredient in fruit juices subjected to in vitro gastrointestinal digestion.

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National Research Institute for Food and Nutrition (INRAN), Via Ardeatina 546, I-00178 Rome, Italy.



The enrichment of fruit juices with concentrated polyphenolic extracts is an expedient strategy to compensate possible phenolic loss through gastrointestinal processing. Pycnogenol, a standardised procyanidin-rich extract from pine bark, has been proposed as a potential candidate for polyphenol enrichment of foods. In this study the effects of in vitro digestion on the phenolic profile of fruit juices enriched with Pycnogenol were investigated.


After in vitro digestion the level of detectable total phenolic compounds (expressed as gallic acid equivalent) was higher in both pineapple and red fruit juices enriched with Pycnogenol than in non-enriched commercial juices. Five phenolic monomeric compounds were identified by high-performance liquid chromatography, namely chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, ferulic acid, gallic acid and taxifolin, the last two being predominant. In vitro digestion of both Pycnogenol-enriched pineapple and red fruit juices led to a significant (P < 0.05) increase in detectable chlorogenic and ferulic acids, indicating that hydrolysis of more complex molecules occurs. On the other hand, in vitro digestion of non-enriched juices was associated with a decrease in gallic and caffeic acids in pineapple juice and with a decrease in ferulic acid in red fruit juice. In no case did in vitro digestion increase the amount of detectable phenolic compounds in non-enriched juices.


The stability of Pycnogenol after in vitro gastrointestinal digestion makes it a good choice for phenolic enrichment of fruit juices.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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