Chemical characterization and biological properties of royal jelly samples from the Mediterranean area

El-Guendouz, S., Machado, A.M., Aazza, S.; Lyoussi, B., Miguel, M.G., Mateus, M.C., Figueiredo, A.C. (2020).


Royal jelly (RJ) is a bee product that has high nutritional value and is beneficial for the human health, earning importance as a functional food. Thus, the characterization of its main biological properties is with high importance. In this work, 6 RJ samples obtained in Morocco, Portugal, and Spain were evaluated in terms of total phenol and flavone/flavonol contents; total protein; 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid (10-HDA); volatiles composition; antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties; and inhibition of tyrosinase, xanthine oxidase (XO), and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activities. Total phenolic content ranged from 3 to 9 mg gallic acid equivalent/g RJ, and flavone/flavonol content from 0.1 to 0.5 mg quercetin equivalent/g RJ. 10-Hydroxy-2-decenoic acid content varied from 0.9% to 1.2% and total protein from 5.5% to 29.7%. Gas chromatography-flame ionization detector and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis showed RJ volatiles dominated by linolenic acid, 2-decenoic acid, and octanoic acid in variable amounts. The antioxidant activity was monitored through nitric oxide (NO) scavenging activity and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) scavenging capacity, where the IC50 ranged from 2.3 to 3.4 and 0.2 to 1.5 mg/mL, respectively. Anti-AChE activity IC50 ranged from 0.7 to 4.6 mg/mL, while XO inhibition IC50 ranged from 3.3 to 11.9 mg/mL. The results showed that phenols and flavonoids highly contributed to the RJ biological properties in contrast to 10-HDA and proteins.

Keywords: antioxidant; anti-inflammatory; anti-acetylcholinesterase; anti-tyrosinase; 10-HDA; BHT; Morocco; Portugal; Spain.

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