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Article
Publication date: 22 October 2018

Sharmilla Ashokhan, Sujatha Ramasamy, Saiful Anuar Karsani, Rashidi Othman and Jamilah Syafawati Yaacob

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the content of bioactive pigments in coloured callus of Azadirachta indica and to understand the correlation between the callus…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the content of bioactive pigments in coloured callus of Azadirachta indica and to understand the correlation between the callus colours with their bioactive constituents, antioxidant properties and cytotoxicity. These assessments will yield valuable insight into the use of in vitro-derived pigments for possible use as functional natural colourants.

Design/methodology/approach

In this study, the authors have successfully developed a protocol to produce leaf-derived callus of various colours with enhanced content of bioactive pigments in A. indica through plant tissue culture. Comparative analysis of the pigments content (chlorophyll, carotenoid, phenolics and anthocyanins) in the coloured callus was conducted, followed by evaluation of its bioactive properties. The antioxidant properties against 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl and 2,2′-azinobis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) radicals, ferric reducing antioxidant power and cytotox activities of the coloured callus extracts were also reported.

Findings

Callus of various colours were successfully produced in A. indica through plant tissue culture, and their valuable pigment content and bioactivity were evaluated. The green callus contained the highest amount of anthocyanin, followed by brown and cream callus. The total anthocyanin contents in both the green and brown callus was more than two-fold higher than that in cream callus. Contrasting observation was obtained for total phenolic content (TPC), where the TPC of cream callus was significantly higher than that in brown callus. Nevertheless, the green callus also exhibited the highest TPC. Green callus also contained the highest amount of total chlorophyll and carotenoid, as well as exhibited the highest antioxidant potential, and was found to be the only extract with active cytotox activity against SKOV-3 cells. Correlation analysis revealed that the excellent bioactivity exhibited by the coloured extracts was strongly correlated with the bioactive pigments present in the callus.

Research limitations/implications

The major bioactive compounds identified in the methanolic extracts of A. indica coloured callus are anthocyanins, phenolics, chlorophylls and carotenoids. Future research work should include improvements in the extraction and identification methods, which may lead to detection and determination of other compounds that could attribute to its bioactivity, to complement the findings of the current study.

Practical implications

This analysis provides valuable information on the application of plant tissue culture as an alternative source for sustainable production of major pigments with medicinal benefits in A. indica for possible use as functional natural colourants.

Originality/value

A comparative study on bioactive pigment production in coloured callus from A. indica leaves and its antioxidant potential and cytotoxicity is original. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first report detailing a comparative evaluation on the production of coloured callus in A. indica and its relative biochemical composition and bioactive properties.

Details

Pigment & Resin Technology, vol. 48 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0369-9420

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 November 2018

Jamilah Syafawati Yaacob, Nur Asniyati Abdul Halim, Sharmilla Ashokhan, Hanisah Ali and Rashidi Othman

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the pattern of carotenoids distribution in three underutilized Malaysian ‘ulam’ or traditional vegetables in Malaysia (Averrhoa

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the pattern of carotenoids distribution in three underutilized Malaysian ‘ulam’ or traditional vegetables in Malaysia (Averrhoa carambola, Manihot esculenta and Ipomoea batatas) and their valuable pro-vitamin A activities. These assessments will yield valuable knowledge and insight into the importance of these underutilized traditional vegetables and highlight their potential for applications in medicinal and functional colorant industries.

Design/methodology/approach

In this study, the authors have evaluated the distribution of carotenoid compounds in aerial organs of three underutilized traditional vegetables (Averrhoa carambola, Manihot esculenta and Ipomoea batatas). The content of the individual carotenoids were quantified using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and the organ with the highest accumulation of these compounds were identified. Their valuable pro-vitamin A activities were also reported to indicate their medicinal potential which can further be exploited as pharmacologically active natural colorants and in other applications.

Findings

In total, three major chromatographic peaks corresponding to lutein, violaxanthin and β-carotene were observed through HPLC. Among the compounds detected, lutein and β-carotene were the most abundant carotenoids found in both shoots and petioles of all three species. Violaxanthin was only detected in I. batatas shoots. Overall, carotenoid content was observed to be higher in the shoots than in the petioles, where I. batatas contained the highest amount of total carotenoid, followed by M. esculenta and A. carambola. The opposite trend was observed in the petioles, where A. carambola petioles had the highest carotenoid content, while I. batatas contained the least.

Research limitations/implications

The distribution and abundance of these individual carotenoids suggested that the petioles contained the highest amount of carotenoid, contributing to its high pro-vitamin A activity, and could be potentially useful for medicinal application, as it can act as storage site that is not as prone to natural drying or degradation during harvest and sample storage. Future research work should include improvements in the extraction and purification procedures as well as robust identification methods which may lead to better detection and identification of other compounds that could attribute to its bioactivity, to complement the findings of the current study.

Practical implications

This analysis provides valuable information on the importance of underutilized traditional vegetables as important biofactories for sustainable production of valuable pigments (such as carotenoids) with medicinal benefits and can further be exploited in various industries, such as in formulation of functional natural colorants. This study also highlights the importance of petiole as a storage site of pharmacologically active compounds that is not as prone to natural drying or degradation during harvest and sample storage.

Originality/value

To date, there is no previous report found on comparative analysis of carotenoid content and quantification of individual carotenoid concentration in the edible aerial parts of Averrhoa carambola, Manihot esculenta and Ipomoea batatas, although they have been traditionally consumed as “ulam” in Malaysia. Therefore, the results reported in this study provide new insights on carotenoid accumulation in the selected ‘ulam’ species.

Details

Pigment & Resin Technology, vol. 48 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0369-9420

Keywords

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