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J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Mar 9;59(5):2011-8. doi: 10.1021/jf103881b. Epub 2011 Feb 11.

Chemical and cellular antioxidant activity of phytochemicals purified from olive mill waste waters.

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  • 1Department of Biomolecular Sciences, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Via A. Saffi, 2, Urbino 61029 (PU), Italy.


The isolation and identification of a phytocomplex from olive mill waste waters (OMWW) was achieved. The isolated phytocomplex is made up of the following three phenolic compounds: hydroxytyrosol (3,4-DHPEA), tyrosol (p-HPEA) and the dialdehydic form of decarboxymethyl elenolic acid, linked with (3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)ethanol (3,4-DHPEA-EDA). The purification of this phytocomplex was reached by partial dehydration of the OMWW, followed by liquid-liquid extraction with ethyl acetate and middle pressure liquid chromatography (MPLC) on a Sephadex LH-20 column. The phytocomplex accounted for 6% of the total phenolic content of the OMWW. The phytocomplex and individual compounds were tested for antioxidant capacity by the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) method. The ORAC phytocomplex produced 10,000 ORAC units/g dry weight, whereas the cellular antioxidant activity, measured by the cellular antioxidant activity in red blood cell (CAA-RBC) method, demonstrated that the phytocomplex and all of the components are able to permeate the cell membrane thus exhibiting antioxidant activity inside the red blood cells. Our phytocomplex could be employed in the formulation of fortified foods and nutraceuticals, with the goal to obtain substantial health protective effects due to the suitable combination of the component molecules.

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