Journal of Food Science and Technology

, Volume 55, Issue 9, pp 3606–3615 | Cite as

Phenolic profiling and antioxidant capacity in flowers, leaves and peels of Tunisian cultivars of Punica granatum L.

  • Boutheina Fellah
  • Marwa Bannour
  • Gabriele Rocchetti
  • Luigi Lucini
  • Ali Ferchichi
Original Article


The comprehensive phenolic fingerprints of flowers, peels and leaves of two Tunisian Punica granatum L. cultivars, namely Nabli and Gabsi, were investigated. The highest phenolic content was recorded in the Nabli flowers, followed by Gabsi peels extracts (152.6 and 125.8 mg gallic acid equivalent 100 g−1, respectively) while flavonoids and flavonols were highest in Gabsi peels (19.2 and 26.0 mg Rutin equivalent per 100 g−1). Besides, the antioxidant capacity was the highest in Gabsi peels (144.4 mg gallic acid equivalent 100 g−1) and in Nabli flowers (161.6 mg gallic acid equivalent per 100 g−1. Methanol extracts of all three plant portions of both cultivars were screened by ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to quadruple time of flight mass spectrometry, and the identified phenolics were further quantified. Nabli cultivar showed higher contents of flavonoids (in flowers and leaves), while phenolic acids were abundant in Gabsi leaves. Multivariate statistics highlighted differences in phenolic profile among organs and cultivars. These results showed that the pomegranate portions investigated are a valuable source of bioactive compounds with health-promoting properties, mainly belonging to the phenolic class of flavonoids.


Punica granatum L. Punicaceae Bioactive polyphenols Gabsi Nabli Metabolomics 



GR was recipient of a fellowship from the Doctoral School on the Agro-Food System (Agrisystem) of the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Piacenza, Italy) whereas BF received a traveling fellowship from the University of Tunis El-Manar (Tunis, Tunisia).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

13197_2018_3286_MOESM1_ESM.png (215 kb)
Validation of OPLSDA discriminant model on non-edible portions of pomegranate cultivars; Hotelling’s T2 using 95% and 99% confidence limits is provided in the upper panel [A], whereas outcome of permutation test (N = 100) is given in the lower one [B] (PNG 214 kb)
13197_2018_3286_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (28.4 mb)
Whole list of phenolic compounds identified in flowers, leaves and peels of “Gabsi” and “Nabli” pomegranate cultivars, together with annotations, composite mass spectra and cumulative intensities of major phenolic classes of Gabsi and Nabli cultivars, as gained by UHPLC-ESI/QTOF-MS. Unsupervised hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) heat map (similarity: Euclidean; linkage rule: Ward), principal component analysis (PCA) score plot and Volcano plot analysis (p < 0.01, Bonferroni multiple testing correction, and fold-change cut-off = 5) are also provided (XLSX 29079 kb)


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Copyright information

© Association of Food Scientists & Technologists (India) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of SciencesUniversity of Tunis El-Manar IITunisTunisia
  2. 2.Laboratory of Aridoculture and Oasian CulturesInstitute of Arid Regions of MedenineTunisTunisia
  3. 3.Unit of Research of Plant Ecology, Faculty of SciencesUniversity of Tunis El-Manar IITunisTunisia
  4. 4.Department of Animal Science, Food and NutritionUniversità Cattolica del Sacro CuorePiacenzaItaly
  5. 5.Department for Sustainable Food ProcessUniversità Cattolica del Sacro CuorePiacenzaItaly
  6. 6.National Institute of AgronomyTunisTunisia

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