European Food Research and Technology

, Volume 245, Issue 1, pp 257–261 | Cite as

Oak Quercus rubra L. and Quercus robur L. acorns as an unconventional source of gamma- and beta-tocopherol

  • Paweł GórnaśEmail author
Short Communication


The oaks Quercus robur L. and Quercus rubra L. are grown worldwide. The oak fruits (acorns) fallen on the ground during the autumn are usually considered as unusable, although some possible applications have been reported. In the present study, the possible recovery of tocopherols from acorns of two oak species Q. rubra (n = 14) and Q. robur (n = 15) was evaluated. Four tocopherols (Ts) (α-T, β-T, γ-T, and δ-T) in the oak fruits of Q. rubra and Q. robur were identified. The Q. robur acorns had abundant γ-T (28.18 ± 6.7 mg/100 g dw), while in Q. rubra β-T was predominant (17.28 ± 2.91 mg/100 g dw), nearly 95 and 90% of total detected tocopherols, respectively. The variability of tocopherol levels within the same species was lower for Q. rubra (16.5%) and higher for Q. robur (23.4%). The principal component analysis, applied to four tocopherol homologues, confirmed their feasibility to distinguish two strictly separated groups: one for species Q. rubra and the other for Q. robur. The predominance of β-T in Q. rubra acorns is a unique finding in the plant world; therefore, acorns of this oak species can be used as an unconventional natural source of this rare tocopherol homologue.


Oak acorns Quercus rubra L. Quercus robur L. Gamma-tocopherol Beta-tocopherol 






I would like to kindly acknowledge Dr. Gunārs Lācis for his assistance.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares no conflicts of interests.

Supplementary material

217_2018_3150_MOESM1_ESM.doc (1.2 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 1224 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of HorticultureLatvia University of Life Sciences and TechnologiesDobeleLatvia

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