Chemical characterisation and bioactive properties of Prunus avium L.: The widely studied fruits and the unexplored stems uri icon


  • The aim of this study was to characterize sweet cherry regarding nutritional composition of the fruits, and individual phytochemicals and bioactive properties of fruits and stems. The chromatographic profiles in sugars, organic acids, fatty acids, tocopherols and phenolic compounds were established. All the preparations (extracts, infusions and decoctions) obtained using stems revealed higher antioxidant potential than the fruits extract, which is certainly related with its higher phenolic compounds (phenolic acids and flavonoids) concentration. The fruits extract was the only one showing antitumor potential, revealing selectivity against HCT-15 (colon carcinoma) (GI50~74 μg/mL). This could be related with anthocyanins that were only found in fruits and not in stems. None of the preparations have shown hepatotoxicity against normal primary cells. Overall, this study reports innovative results regarding chemical and bioactive properties of sweet cherry stems, and confirmed the nutritional and antioxidant characteristics of their fruits.
  • The authors are grateful to Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT, Portugal) for financial support to the research centre CIMO (strategic project PEst-OE/AGR/UI0690/2011) and L. Barros researcher contract under “Programa Compromisso com Ciência – 2008”.

publication date

  • January 1, 2015