Journal of Food Science and Technology

, Volume 56, Issue 3, pp 1275–1286 | Cite as

Physicochemical properties, phenolic profiles, antioxidant capacities, and inhibitory effects on digestive enzymes of okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) fruit at different maturation stages

  • Dan-Dan Shen
  • Xu Li
  • Ya-Li Qin
  • Mo-Ting Li
  • Qiao-Hong Han
  • Jie Zhou
  • Shang Lin
  • Li Zhao
  • Qing Zhang
  • Wen QinEmail author
  • Ding-Tao WuEmail author
Original Article


Phenolic compounds are considered the main bioactive components in okra fruits. In order to well understand the accumulation pattern of phenolic compounds in okra fruits during maturation, and to obtain okra fruits with high level of health-beneficial phenolic compounds, physicochemical properties, phenolic profiles, antioxidant capacities, and inhibitory effects on digestive enzymes of okra fruits at different maturation stages were investigated. Noticeable variations in physicochemical properties and phenolic profiles of okra were observed at different maturation stages. Phenolic compounds, including quercetin-3-O-gentiobioside, quercetin-3-O-glucoside (isoquercitrin), rutin, quercetin derivative, protocatechuic acid, and catechin derivative, were determined to be the major compounds in okra fruits, while quercetin-3-O-gentiobioside was the most abundant phenolic compound. Considering the accumulation patterns of fruit size, firmness, and total flavonoid content of okra fruits, the optimal harvest time of okra fruits with relatively high level of health-beneficial phenolic compounds was determined. Furthermore, okra fruits at different maturation stages exerted remarkable antioxidant capacities and inhibitory effects on the pancreatic lipase, α-glucosidase, and α-amylase. The Pearson’s correlation showed that quercetin-3-O-gentiobioside was one of the major contributors to the antioxidant capacities and inhibitory effects on digestive enzymes. Results are beneficial for understanding of the accumulation pattern of phenolic compounds in okra fruits during maturation, and can aid in the targeting of specific maturation stages with an optimal phenolic profile for the production of health-beneficial products.


Okra fruit Phenolic compounds HPLC analysis Antioxidant capacity Enzyme inhibition 



This work was supported by the Scientific Research Foundation of Sichuan Agricultural University (Grant number 03120321) and the Scientific Research Fund Project of Science and Technology Department of Sichuan Province (Grant numbers 2017NZ0039, 2018NZ0010, and 2018JY0149).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Association of Food Scientists & Technologists (India) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Food ScienceSichuan Agricultural UniversityYa’anChina

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