Antioxidant activity, sugar and phenolic content of fresh fig (Ficus carica L.) fruits grown in Croatia

I. Prgomet, Ž. Prgomet, D. Ban, J. Perković, I. Palčić, D. Donno, S. Goreta Ban, N. Major
Figs have been traditionally grown in the Mediterranean basin since ancient times, including coastal Croatia, due to their low requirements for soil and climate as well as their nutritional value. However, they are still unjustly neglected compared to many other fruit species. There is a trend of healthy lifestyles that includes diets based on foods with high antioxidant and bioactive properties. The aim of this study was to examine the potential health-promoting constituents of fig cultivars and accessions commonly grown in Croatia. Fresh fruits of 15 cultivars and accessions were harvested from the experimental orchard in Istria County and total antioxidant activity and total phenolic, fructose, glucose and sucrose contents were studied. Results revealed that fruits of dark cultivar ‘Miljska figa’ contained the highest levels of phenolics and fructose, and displayed the strongest total antioxidant capacity, both for FRAP and DPPH. From the group of light-colored skin cultivars, ‘Tiger’ exhibited the highest total phenolic content and antioxidant capacity for DPPH, ‘Bružetka bijela’ for FRAP and sucrose content, while ‘Sušioka’ was the predominant light-colored skin cultivar concerning glucose and fructose content. In average, darker cultivars were observed to have 1.5-fold greater contents of phenolics compared to the light-colored ones. Total phenolic content was found to correlate well with antioxidant capacity determined by FRAP and DPPH assays (r=0.9451 and 0.9359, respectively). The results indicate figs as a natural source of phenolic compounds with good antioxidant properties and highlight the importance of further research on different fig cultivars as significant components of health-promoting Mediterranean diet. Finally, figs are ripened and harvested in months when the touristic season in coastal Croatia is on its peak, and knowledge about beneficial properties of fresh fig fruits, both among the local population and among tourists, can bring an additional added value to the fig cultivation in Croatia.
Prgomet, I., Prgomet, Ž., Ban, D., Perković, J., Palčić, I., Donno, D., Goreta Ban, S. and Major, N. (2021). Antioxidant activity, sugar and phenolic content of fresh fig (Ficus carica L.) fruits grown in Croatia. Acta Hortic. 1310, 129-134
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1310.20
antioxidant activity, fresh figs, phenolics, sugar profile

Acta Horticulturae