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Food Chem. 2013 Jan 15;136(2):563-8. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2012.08.089. Epub 2012 Sep 12.

Identification of a novel phenolic compound in litchi (Litchi chinensis Sonn.) pericarp and bioactivity evaluation.

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Key Laboratory of Plant Resources Conservation and Sustainable Utilization, South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510650, China.


Litchi (Litchi chinensis Sonn.) is a delicious fruit widely accepted by consumers all over the world. In this work, phytochemical investigation of litchi pericarp methanol extracts led to the isolation of a novel phenolic, 2-(2-hydroxyl-5-(methoxycarbonyl) phenoxy) benzoic acid, together with kaempferol, isolariciresinol, stigmasterol, butylated hydroxytoluene, 3,4-dihydroxyl benzoate, methyl shikimate and ethyl shikimate. Most were found in litchi pericarp for the first time. Their structures were mainly elucidated by NMR and MS evidences. Antioxidant activities of the eight compounds were determined by a DPPH radical scavenging assay and the results showed that 2-(2-hydroxy-5-(methoxycarbonyl) phenoxy)benzoic acid, kaempferol, isolariciresinol, butylated hydroxytoluene and 3,4-dihydroxy benzoate exhibited good antioxidant activities. An interesting finding was that butylated hydroxytoluene was detected as a natural antioxidant in this work, which was usually taken as a synthesized antioxidant. Furthermore, the novel compound exhibited no inhibitory effects against tyrosinase and α-glucosidase activities.

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