Nutritional and Phytochemical Traits of Apricots (Prunus Armeniaca L.) for Application in Nutraceutical and Health Industry
Apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) is a nutritious fruit, rich in bioactive compounds, known for their health benefits. The present study attempts to evaluate nutritional (sugars, organic acids, minerals) and nutraceutical traits (total phenolics, flavonoids, carotenoids, antioxidant activity) of six commercial apricot genotypes grown in India. Antioxidant activity was determined using three in-vitro assays, namely CUPRAC (cupric reducing antioxidant capacity), FRAP (ferric reducing antioxidant power) and DPPH (1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl). Significant (p < 0.05) differences were observed in the genotypes concerning nutritional and nutraceutical traits. Sucrose accounted for more than 60% of total sugars in most genotypes, followed by glucose and fructose. Citric acid accounted for more than 50% of the total organic acids present, followed by malic and succinic acids. Apricot is a good source of potassium (1430.07 to 2202.69 mg/100 g dwb) and iron (2.69 to 6.97 mg/100 g dwb) owing to its mineral composition. Total carotenoids content ranged from 0.44 to 3.55 mg/100 g, with β-carotene accounting for 33-84% of the total content. The results strongly suggest that genotypes 'CITH-A-1' and 'CITH-A-2', which have high dry matter and carotenoids content, are well suited for drying. 'Roxana' and 'CITH-A-3' are great for fresh consumption, while 'Shakarpara' and 'Gold Cot' are excellent for juice processing.