Chemical composition and antioxidant activity of commercial flours from Ceratonia siliqua and Prosopis spp.
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Ceratonia siliqua and some species of Prosopis (Fabaceae family) are commonly known as carob trees. The flours obtained from their pods are used in the food industry, as cocoa substitute in the confectionery and also used in beverages and mixed with products derived from cereals. The aim of this study was to compare and characterize the physical and chemical properties, specially the antioxidant activities, of the two commercial carob flours. Commercial Prosopis spp. (mainly from P. alba) flour exhibited high content of protein, starch and fat, while commercial flour from C. siliqua had a lower content of these compounds, but higher antioxidant activity. By nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) the aqueous extracts of the two carob flours were analysed and concluded that they had similar content of sucrose, but C. siliqua had more monosaccharides and pinitol. This important cyclitol has beneficial physiological effects, improving the glycaemic level and, thus, having a great potential in the food industry. We conclude that the commercial flour of C. siliqua has a better nutritional potential than that of Prosopis spp., owing to dietary fiber, total phenols, pinitol and antioxidant activity. Our results corroborate the nutritional benefits of the commercial supplements already available for healthy food formulations.
KeywordsFood quality Phenolics Chromatography analysis Sugars Antioxidants
The bilateral Co-operation between Argentine and Portugal, “Development of high protein formulations for bakery and confectionery”, supported by Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnologia e Innovacion Productiva de la Republica Argentina (MINCyT) and Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) (Procº 441.00) from Portugal is acknowledged. The NMR spectrometers used are part of The National NMR Facility, supported by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (RECI/BBB-BQB/0230/2012), and we thank Doctor Helena Matias for the technical assistance with the NMR equipment.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.
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