Edible Rhus tripartita fruit as source of health-promoting compounds: characterization of bioactive components and antioxidant properties

  • Imen Abcha
  • Paula Criado
  • Stephane Salmieri
  • Hanen Najjaa
  • Hiroko Isoda
  • Mohamed Neffati
  • Monique LacroixEmail author
Original Paper


The fruits of Rhus tripartita had recently attracted great attention due to its notable therapeutic effects. Their potential effects are attributed to the richness of diverse classes of secondary metabolites. The objective of this research was to access the determination of chemical composition and antioxidant properties of R. tripartita fruit extracts and its partitioned fractions (absolute petroleum ether, 70% aqueous ethanol, absolute ethyl acetate and water). LC–ESI-MS/MS and FTIR–ATR were used to assess the potential of R. tripartita fruits as a source of health-promoting constituents. A total of 38 phenolics, including flavones, flavonols, flavanones, organic acids, hydroxycinnamic acids and hydroxybenzoic acids, 26 of them were reported for the first time in R. tripartita. The main compounds were apigenin7-O-glucoside, apigenin and p-coumaric acid. The FTIR–ATR analysis results revealed the presence of characteristic functional groups such as − OH, C–O, − C = C and C–H of phenolic compounds, carboxylic acids, carbohydrates, lipophilic components and proteins in R. tripartita fruits. Furthermore, the ethyl acetate fraction showed the highest level of phenolic contents and strong antioxidant activities. The present study recommends R. tripartita fruits as source of natural antioxidants which can be used as bioactive ingredient for functional foods and nutraceuticals.


Rhus tripartita fruit Antioxidants LC–MS/MS FTIR Phenolic compounds 



The authors would like to express their sincere thanks to Tunisian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Carthage University, and special thanks to Research Laboratories in Science, Applied to Food, Canadian Irradiation Centre, INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier for its financial support for conducting this research.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research involving human and/or animal participants

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Crown 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Imen Abcha
    • 1
    • 2
  • Paula Criado
    • 2
  • Stephane Salmieri
    • 2
  • Hanen Najjaa
    • 2
  • Hiroko Isoda
    • 3
  • Mohamed Neffati
    • 1
  • Monique Lacroix
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Pastoral Ecosystems and Valorization of Spontaneous Plants LaboratoryTunisia Institute of Arid LandMedenineTunisia
  2. 2.INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier, Research Laboratories in Sciences Applied to Food, Institut of Nutraceutical and Functional FoodsCanadian Irradiation CentreLavalCanada
  3. 3.Alliance for Research on North Africa (ARENA)University of TsukubaTsukubaJapan

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