European Food Research and Technology

, Volume 245, Issue 11, pp 2565–2578 | Cite as

Evaluation of the impact of pre-treatment and extraction conditions on the polyphenolic profile and antioxidant activity of Belgium apple wood

  • Hannes WithouckEmail author
  • Annick Boeykens
  • Machteld Vanden Broucke
  • Manuela M. Moreira
  • Cristina Delerue-Matos
  • Luc De Cooman
Original Paper


This study describes the possibilities of valorising a waste stream that originates from apple wood by mapping the reducing capacity and phenolic profile from extracts derived from apple tree (Malus domestica). This study evaluated the efficiency of warm solvent extraction (WSE) and ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE) techniques for extracting antioxidant phenolic compounds from the bark and core wood of an apple tree cultivated in the north-eastern part of Belgium. Furthermore, the influence of the pre-treatment technique, namely, fresh, oven-dried, and freeze-dried samples, respectively, on the yield of polyphenols was studied. Fresh bark extract obtained by UAE—the most efficient extraction technique—employing acetone 60% v/v contains the highest levels of phenolic compounds as well as the highest antioxidant activity. High-performance liquid chromatographic analysis shows that phloridzin is the major compound of the identified polyphenol markers present in bark and core wood extracts. Based on the obtained results, it may be possible to produce a polyphenolic extract from apple wood at an industrial scale without extensive costs or altering the antioxidant properties. This study reveals the potential of apple tree wood residues valorisation through the recovery of phenolic compounds for food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic applications.


Apple wood Warm solvent extraction Ultrasound-assisted extraction HPLC–PDA Polyphenols Antioxidant activity 



The authors are grateful to Valerie Van Vooren for the provided language help and writing assistance regarding this paper.


Annick Boeykens is a beneficiary of a PWO (‘Projectmatig Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek’) Grant, provided to Odisee by the Flemish Government, for the investigation project ‘Phenolic compounds in by-products’. Manuela M. Moreira (SFRH/BPD/97049/2013) wishes to acknowledge Fundo Social Europeu and Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Ensino Superior for funding her postdoctoral fellowship by means of a POPH-QREN—Tipologia 4.1—Formação Avançada. The financial support from FCT/MEC through national funds and cofinanced by FEDER, under the Partnership Agreement PT2020 through the project UID/QUI/50006/2013—POCI/01/0145/FEDER/007265 and the project 6818—Transnational Cooperation, Agreement between Portugal (FCT) and Serbia (MSTD) are also acknowledged.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest to disclose.

Compliance with Ethics requirements

The authors state that the present study complies with the ethical requirements and this study does not include studies on human or animal subjects.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemistry, School of TechnologyOdisee University CollegeGhentBelgium
  2. 2.REQUIMTE/LAQV, Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Instituto Politécnico do PortoPortoPortugal
  3. 3.KU Leuven, Bioengineering Technology TCGhentBelgium

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