Horticulture, Environment, and Biotechnology

, Volume 60, Issue 5, pp 671–683 | Cite as

Comparative analysis and physio-biochemical screening of an ex-situ fig (Ficus carica L.) collection

  • Lahcen Hssaini
  • Jamal Charafi
  • Hafida Hanine
  • Said Ennahli
  • Abderrahman Mekaoui
  • Ali Mamouni
  • Rachid RazoukEmail author
Research Report


Fig (Ficus carica L.) is an important natural source of bioactive compounds in the health-promoting Mediterranean diet. However, there are no established studies investigating antioxidant compounds and their variability in figs grown in Moroccan orchards based on biochemical attributes. In this study, 135 local fig clones and foreign varieties were screened for their total phenolics, flavonoids, anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, soluble sugars, titrable acidity, total soluble solids, and skin color (L*, c*, and hue°). Radical scavenging activity was determined using DPPH, ABTS, and β-carotene blanching tests. All analyses revealed significant variations among genotypes. High concentrations of total phenolics and anthocyanins were found in dark figs that showed the highest antioxidant capacity. Total anthocyanins ranged from 0.41 to 57.47 mg cy-3-rutinoside/100gdw, which is likey the major contributor to radical scavenging activity (RSA), particularly using the DPPH method (r = 0.342**). Based on principal component analysis, skin color coordinates, total flavonoids, anthocyanins, and RSA using DPPH were the most discriminant variable explaining more than 31% of total variance. Unweighted pair-group method of arithmetic average cluster analysis was used to classify genotypes based on their biochemical attributes. Two major clusters were discriminated based particularly on skin color and antioxidant activity.


Antioxidant capacity Total flavonoids Figs Total phenolics Total proanthocyanidins 



This work was financed by the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries, Rural Development, Water and Forests of Morocco (MCRDV program).

Author contributions

LH designed the research, collected samples analyzed and interpreted the data and wrote the manuscript. JC and HH provided the technical support for designing and conducting research as well as supervised the whole research process. RR and AM performed the review. SE performed the last review and statistical analysis and AM contributed in collecting samples and their analysis. LH wrote the draft with comments from all authors and finalized the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. Aksoy U (2015) The dried fig management and the potential for new products. In: V International symposium on fig 1173, Aug 2015, pp 377–382Google Scholar
  2. Aljane F, Ferchichi A (2009) Postharvest chemical properties and mineral contents of some fig (Ficus carica L.) cultivars in Tunisia. J Food Agric Environ 7:209–212Google Scholar
  3. Ames BN (1983) Dietary carcinogens and anticarcinogens: oxygen radicals and degenerative diseases. Science 221:1256–1264CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Ateyyeh AF, Sadder MT (2006) Growth pattern and fruit characteristics of six common fig (Ficus carica L.) cultivars in Jordan. Jordan J Agric Sci 2:105–112Google Scholar
  5. Barreira JC, Ferreira IC, Oliveira M, Pereira JA (2008) Antioxidant activities of the extracts from chestnut flower leaf skins and fruit. Food Chem 107:1106–1113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bey MB, Richard G, Meziant L, Fauconnier ML, Louaileche H (2016) Effects of sun-drying on physicochemical characteristics, phenolic composition and in vitro antioxidant activity of dark fig varieties. J Food Process Preserv 41(5):e13164Google Scholar
  7. Boudet AM (2007) Evolution and current status of research in phenolic compounds. Phytochemistry 68:2722–2735CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Bucić-Kojić A, Planinić M, Tomas S, Jokić S, Mujić I, Bilić M, Velić D (2011) Effect of extraction conditions on the extractability of phenolic compounds from lyophilised fig fruits (Ficus carica L.). Pol J Food Nutr Sci 61:195–199CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Caldwell CR, Britz SJ, Mirecki RM (2005) Effect of temperature elevated carbon dioxide and drought during seed development on the isoflavone content of dwarf soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merrill] grown in controlled environments. J Agric Food Chem 53:1125–1129CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Çalişkan O, Polat AA (2011) Phytochemical and antioxidant properties of selected fig (Ficus carica L.) accessions from the eastern Mediterranean region of Turkey. Sci Hortic 128:473–478CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Çelik H, Özgen M, Serçe S, Kaya C (2008) Phytochemical accumulation and antioxidant capacity at four maturity stages of cranberry fruit. Sci Hortic 117:345–348CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cheng GW, Breen PJ (1991) Activity of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) and concentrations of anthocyanins and phenolics in developing strawberry fruit. J Am Soc Hortic Sci 116:865–869CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Daniel O, Meier MS, Schlatter J, Frischknecht P (1999) Selected phenolic compounds in cultivated plants: ecologic functions, health implications, and modulation by pesticides. Environ Health Perspect 107:109–114PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  14. De Pascual-Teresa S, Santos-Buelga C, Rivas-Gonzalo JC (2000) Quantitative analysis of flavan-3-ols in Spanish foodstuffs and beverages. J Agric Food Chem 48:5331–5337CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Del Caro A, Piga A (2008) Polyphenol composition of peel and pulp of two Italian fresh fig fruits cultivars (Ficus carica L.). Eur Food Res Technol 226:715–719CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dewanto V, Wu X, Adom K, Liu R (2002) Thermal processing enhances the nutritional value of tomatoes by increasing total antioxidant activity. J Agric Food Chem 50:3010–3014CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Dubois M, Gilles KA, Hamilton JK, Rebers PA, Smith F (1956) Colorimetric method for determination of sugars and related substances. Anal Chem 28:350–356CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dueñas M, Pérez-Alonso J, Santos-Buelga C, Escribano-Bailón T (2008) Anthocyanin composition in fig (Ficus carica L.). J Food Compos Anal 21:107–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Eberhardt MV, Lee CY, Liu RH (2000) Nutrition: antioxidant activity of fresh apples. Nature 405:903CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Eccher Zerbini P, Polesello A (1984) Measuring the color of apple skin by two different techniques. In: Proceeding of the work shop on pome-fruit quality, pp 161–171Google Scholar
  21. Ercisli S, Tosun M, Karlidag H, Dzubur A, Hadziabulic S, Aliman Y (2012) Color and antioxidant characteristics of some fresh fig (Ficus carica L.) genotypes from Northeastern Turkey. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 67(3):271–276CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Ersoy N, Gözlekçi S, Kaynak L (2007) Changes in sugar contents of fig fruit (Ficus carica L. cv. Bursa Siyahı) during development. Süleyman Demirel Üniversitesi Ziraat Fakültesi Dergisi 2:22–26Google Scholar
  23. FAOSTAT (2017) Food and Agriculture Organization statistical database. 436 Accessed 24 Oct 2018
  24. Feskanich D, Ziegler RG, Michaud DS, Giovannucci EL, Speizer FE, Willett WC, Colditz GA (2000) Prospective study of fruit and vegetable consumption and risk of lung cancer among men and women. J Natl Cancer Inst 92:1812–1823CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Freire AL, Ramos CL, da Costa Souza PN, Cardoso M, Schwan RF (2017) Nondairy beverage produced by controlled fermentation with potential probiotic starter cultures of lactic acid bacteria and yeast. Int J Food Microbiol 248:39–46CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Gaaliche B, Trad M, Mars M (2011) Effect of pollination intensity, frequency and pollen source on fig (Ficus carica L.) productivity and fruit quality. Sci Hortic 130:737–742CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Genkinger JM, Platz EA, Hoffman SC, Comstock GW, Helzisouer KM (2004) Fruit, vegetable, and antioxidant intake and all-cause, cancer, and cardiovascular disease mortality in a community-dwelling population in Washington county, Maryland. Am J Epidemiol 160:1223–1233CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Gordon MH (1996) Dietary antioxidants in disease prevention. Nat Prod Rep 13:265–273CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Gozlekci S (2011) Pomological traits of fig (Ficus carica L.) genotypes collected in the west Mediterranean region in Turkey. J Anim Plant Sci 21:646–652Google Scholar
  30. Gu L, Kelm MA, Hammerstone JF, Beecher G, Holden J, Haytowitz D, Prior RL (2004) Concentrations of proanthocyanidins in common foods and estimations of normal consumption. J Nutr 134:613–617CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Guo C, Yang J, Wei J, Li Y, Xu J, Jiang Y (2003) Antioxidant activities of peel pulp and seed fractions of common fruits as determined by FRAP assay. Nutr Res 23:1719–1726CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Gürbüz N, Uluişik S, Frary A, Frary A, Doğanlar S (2018) Health benefits and bioactive compounds of eggplant. Food Chem 268:602–610CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Hakkinen S, Heinonen M, Karenlampi S, Mykkanen H, Ruuskanen J, Torronen R (1999) Screening of selected flavonoids and phenolic acids in 19 berries. Food Res Int 32:345–353CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Harzallah A, Bhouri AM, Amri Z, Soltana H, Hammami M (2016) Phytochemical content and antioxidant activity of different fruit parts juices of three figs (Ficus carica L.) varieties grown in Tunisia. Ind Crops Prod 83:255–267CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Jiang H, Ji B, Liang J, Zhou F, Yang Z, Zhang G (2006) Changes of contents and antioxidant activities of polyphenols during fruit development of four apple cultivars. Eur Food Res Technol 223:743CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kamiloglu S, Capanoglu E (2013) Investigating the in vitro bioaccessibility of polyphenols in fresh and sun-dried figs (Ficus carica L.). Int J Food Sci Technol 48:2621–2629CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kamiloglu S, Toydemir G, Boyacioglu D, Beekwilder J, Hall RD, Capanoglu E (2016) A review on the effect of drying on antioxidant potential of fruits and vegetables. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 56:S110–S129CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Konyalιoğlu S, Sağlam H, Kιvçak B (2005) α-Tocopherol flavonoid and phenol contents and antioxidant activity of Ficus carica leaves. Pharma Biol 43:683–686CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kumar B, Smita K, Cumbal L, Debut A (2016) Ficus carica (fig) fruit mediated green synthesis of silver nanoparticles and its antioxidant activity: a comparison of thermal and ultrasonication approach. BioNanoScience 6:15–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Liu M, Li XQ, Weber C, Lee CY, Brown J, Liu RH (2002) Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of raspberries. J Agric Food Chem 50:2926–2930CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Makris DP, Boskou G, Andrikopoulos NK (2007) Polyphenolic content and in vitro antioxidant characteristics of wine industry and other agri-food solid waste extracts. J Food Compost Anal 20:125–132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Manian R, Anusuya N, Siddhuraju P, Manian S (2008) The antioxidant activity and free radical scavenging potential of two different solvent extracts of Camellia sinensis (L.) O Kuntz Ficus bengalensis L. and Ficus racemosa L. Food Chem 107:1000–1007CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Marinova D, Ribarova F, Atanassova M (2005) Total phenolics and total flavonoids in Bulgarian fruits and vegetables. J Univ Chem Technol Metall 40:255–260Google Scholar
  44. McGhie TK, Hunt M, Barnett LE (2005) Cultivar and growing region determine the antioxidant polyphenolic concentration and composition of apples grown in New Zealand. J Agric Food Chem 53:3065–3070CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Oliveira AP, Valentão P, Pereira JA, Silva BM, Tavares F, Andrade PB (2009) Ficus carica L.: metabolic and biological screening. Food Chem Toxicol 47:2841–2846CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Piga A, Del Caro A, Milella G, Pinna I, Vacca V, Schirru S (2005) HPLC analysis of polyphenols in peel and pulp of fresh figs. In: III International symposium on fig 798, pp 301–306Google Scholar
  47. Pinelo M, Rubilar M, Jerez M, Sineiro J, Núñez MJ (2005) Effect of solvent temperature and solvent-to-solid ratio on the total phenolic content and antiradical activity of extracts from different components of grape pomace. J Agric Food Chem 53:2111–2117CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Porter LJ, Hrstich LN, Chan BG (1985) The conversion of procyanidins and prodelphinidins to cyanidin and delphinidin. Phytochemistry 25:223–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Pourghayoumi M, Bakhshi D, Rahemi M, Noroozisharaf A, Jafari M, Salehi M, Chamane M, Hernandez F (2017) Phytochemical attributes of some dried fig (Ficus carica L.) fruit cultivars grown in Iran. Agric Conspec Sci 81:161–166Google Scholar
  50. Rossle C, Wijngaard HH, Gormley RT, Butler F, Brunton N (2009) Effect of storage on the content of polyphenols of minimally processed skin-on apple wedges from ten cultivars and two growing seasons. J Agric Food Chem 58:1609–1614CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Sagar VR, Kumar PS (2010) Recent advances in drying and dehydration of fruits and vegetables: a review. J Food Sci Technol 47:15–26CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  52. Sanders TH, McMichael RW, Hendrix KW (2000) Occurrence of resveratrol in edible peanuts. J Agric Food Chem 48:1243–1246CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Sedaghat S, Rahemi M (2018) Enzyme activity regarding sugar and organic acid changes during developmental stages in rainfed fig (Ficus carica L. cv. Sabz). Int J Fruit Sci 18:14–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Slatnar A, Klancar U, Stampar F, Veberic R (2011) Effect of drying of figs (Ficus carica L.) on the contents of sugars organic acids and phenolic compounds. J Agric Food Chem 59:11696–11702CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. Solomon A, Golubowicz S, Yablowicz Z, Grossman S, Bergman M, Gottlieb HE, Flaishman MA (2006) Antioxidant activities and anthocyanin content of fresh fruits of common fig (Ficus carica L.). J Agric Food Chem 54:7717–7723CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Solomon A, Golubowicz S, Yablowicz Z, Bergman M, Grossman S, Altman A, Flaishman MA (2010) Protection of fibroblasts (NIH-3T3) against oxidative damage by cyanidin-3-rhamnoglucoside isolated from fig fruits (Ficus carica L.). J Agric Food Chem 58:6660–6665CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  57. Tepe B, Sokmen M, Akpulat HA, Sokmen A (2006) Screening of the antioxidant potentials of six Salvia species from Turkey. Food Chem 95:200–204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Tomás-Barberán FA, Espín JC (2001) Phenolic compounds and related enzymes as determinants of quality in fruits and vegetables. J Sci Food Agric 81:853–876CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Turkmen N, Sari F, Velioglu YS (2006) Effects of extraction solvents on concentration and antioxidant activity of black and black mate tea polyphenols determined by ferrous tartrate and Folin–Ciocalteu methods. Food Chem 99:835–841CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Vallejo F, Marín JG, Tomás-Barberán FA (2012) Phenolic compound content of fresh and dried figs (Ficus carica L.). Food Chem 130:485–492CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Van der Sluis AA, Dekker M, De Jager A, Jongen WM (2001) Activity and concentration of polyphenolic antioxidants in apple: effect of cultivar harvest year and storage conditions. J Agric Food Chem 49:3606–3613CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  62. Veberic R, Stampar F (2005) Selected polyphenols in fruits of different cultivars of genus Prunus. Phyton 45(3):375–383Google Scholar
  63. Veberic R, Jakopic J, Stampar F (2008a) Internal fruit quality of figs (Ficus carica L.) in the northern mediterranean region. Ital J Food Sci 20:255–262Google Scholar
  64. Veberic R, Colaric M, Stampar F (2008b) Phenolic acids and flavonoids of fig fruit (Ficus carica L.) in the northern Mediterranean region. Food Chem 106:153–157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Waterhouse AL (2002) Determination of total phenolics. Curr Protoc Food Anal chem 2:11.11–11.18Google Scholar
  66. Wojdyło A, Oszmiański J, Laskowski P (2008) Polyphenolic compounds and antioxidant activity of new and old apple varieties. J Agric Food Chem 56:6520–6530CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  67. Wojdyło A, Nowicka P, Carbonell-Barrachina ÁA, Hernández F (2016) Phenolic compounds antioxidant and antidiabetic activity of different cultivars of Ficus carica L. fruits. J Funct Foods 25:421–432CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Wu X, Pittman HE, Prior RL (2006) Fate of anthocyanins and antioxidant capacity in contents of the gastrointestinal tract of weanling pigs following black raspberry consumption. J Agric Food Chem 54:583–589CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  69. Xie L, Bolling BW (2014) Characterisation of stilbenes in California almonds (Prunus dulcis) by UHPLC–MS. Food Chem 148:300–306CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Korean Society for Horticultural Science 2019
corrected publication 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA)MeknesMorocco
  2. 2.Laboratory of Bioprocess and Bio-InterfacesFaculty of Science and TechnologyBeni-MellalMorocco
  3. 3.National School of Agriculture (ENA)MeknesMorocco

Personalised recommendations