Amantagula Fruit (Carissa macrocarpa (Eckl.) A.DC.): Nutritional and Phytochemical Characterization

  • Fedia Souilem
  • Maria Inês Dias
  • Lillian Barros
  • Ricardo C. Calhelha
  • Maria José Alves
  • Fethia Harzallah-Skhiri
  • Isabel C. F. R. FerreiraEmail author
Original Paper


Fruits are one of the most promising food matrices and they have been explored in the discovery of new natural and safer bioactive compounds. Carissa macrocarpa (Eckl.) A. DC. fruits are widely consumed in African countries for the preparation of traditional foodstuff, but also for their beneficially health effects. Thus, as the authors’ best knowledge there are no studies on the chemical and bioactive characterization of these fruits. Therefore, fruits of C. macrocarpa from Tunisia were chemically characterized regarding their nutritional value and bioactive compounds. Furthermore, the hydroethanolic extract of these fruits was evaluated regarding its bioactive properties. The fruit powder sample showed high amounts of sugars and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). The organic acids and tocopherols’ profiles revealed the presence of five organic acids and two tocopherol isoforms, being quinic acid and α-tocopherol the most abundant. The hydroethanolic extract of the fruits presented high antioxidant, cytotoxic, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties, showing activity against all the bacterial strains studied, also inhibiting the cell growth of all the tested tumor cell lines, with the exception of HepG2, and did not reveal toxicity for the non-tumor cells PLP2. Therefore, the fruits of C. macrocarpa could be included in a daily basis diet as a source of high nutritional quality compounds with high bioactive potential.


Amantagula fruits Nutritional value Chemical composition Antioxidant Antimicrobial Cytotoxic Anti-inflammatory 



The authors are grateful to the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT, Portugal) and FEDER under Programme PT2020 for financial support to CIMO (UID/AGR/00690/2013), and L. Barros contract. To the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Regional Operational Program North 2020, within the scope of Project Mobilizador Norte-01-0247-FEDER-024479: ValorNatural®.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors state no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11130_2018_703_MOESM1_ESM.docx (15 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 14 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fedia Souilem
    • 1
    • 2
  • Maria Inês Dias
    • 1
  • Lillian Barros
    • 1
  • Ricardo C. Calhelha
    • 1
  • Maria José Alves
    • 1
  • Fethia Harzallah-Skhiri
    • 2
  • Isabel C. F. R. Ferreira
    • 1
    Email author return OK on get
  1. 1.Centro de Investigação de Montanha (CIMO)Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, Campus de Santa ApolóniaBragançaPortugal
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Recherche “Bioressources”: Biologie Intégrative & Valorisation (BIOLIVAL) LR14ES06, Institut Supérieur de Biotechnologie de MonastirUniversité de MonastirMonastirTunisia

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