Molecules, Vol. 28, Pages 2776: Virgin Olive Oil By-Product Valorization: An Insight into the Phenolic Composition of Olive Seed Extracts from Three Cultivars as Sources of Bioactive Molecules (Molecules)
Olives are very rich in phenolic compounds with important health-promoting properties. The profile and content of phenols in olive pulp and virgin olive oil are strongly influenced by the fruit ripening degree, but little is known concerning the evolution of phenolic compounds in the seed. In this work, the phenolic composition of seed from Tuscan cultivars (Frantoio, Moraiolo, Leccino) was studied over maturation. Starting from each seed sample, a phenolic extract was prepared and analyzed by HPLC-DAD-MS. Nüzhenide and nüzhenide 11-methyl oleoside were by far the most abundant phenolic compounds; their content reached up to 46 g/kg in dry seeds, although this diminished in the final stage of fruit maturation. At the same time, the phenolic composition of the pulp was also characterized over the course of maturation, showing that oleuropein was by far the most abundant compound, with concentrations comparable to those of nüzhenide and nüzhenide 11-methyl oleoside in the seeds. Overall, the total amount of phenols in seed dry extracts was significant, reaching approx. 100 g/kg. The chemically characterized dry phenolic extracts from seeds could be used for future biological assays aimed at evaluating the potential bioactivities of these phytocomplexes.