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J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Oct 17;60(41):10245-55. doi: 10.1021/jf302848u. Epub 2012 Oct 9.

Changes in free amino acid, protein, and flavonoid content in jujube (Ziziphus jujube) fruit during eight stages of growth and antioxidative and cancer cell inhibitory effects by extracts.

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Department of Food Service Industry, Seowon University, Cheongju, Republic of Korea.


Jujube (Ziziphus jujube) was analyzed at eight stages of ripeness (S1-8) for protein, by HPLC and mass spectroscopy for free amino acids and flavonoids, and by colorimetry for total flavonoids and antioxidative activity. The ripe fruit had lower levels of protein, flavonoids, and antioxidative activity than that of the unripe fruit. Free amino acids levels peaked at S5, due mainly to an increase in free asparagine. Extracts were also tested against four cell lines using the MTT cell viability assay. All growth stages dose-dependently inhibited HeLa cervical cancer cells, whereas the inhibition of Hel299 normal lung and A549 lung cancer cells decreased as the fruit matured and was well correlated with the flavonoid content and antioxidative activity. Chang normal liver cells were inhibited by only the S5 extract. U937 lymphoma cells were unaffected by the extracts. These results show the effect of fruit maturity on nutritional and health-promoting components.

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