Ellagitannin-rich bioactive extracts of Tuberaria lignosa: insights into the radiation-induced effects in the recovery of high added-value compounds†
Ellagitannins are polyphenols responsible for a number of bioactivities and health-promoting effects. These industrially important molecules can be affected by post-harvest treatments and recovery processes, but little is known about the irradiation-induced effects on their integrity, bioactivity and extractability. Herein, the impact of gamma radiation on the production of ellagitannin-rich extracts was investigated using Tuberaria lignosa as a case study. These effects were compared with those induced in flavonoids and organic acids. The extracts were particularly rich in hydrophilic antioxidants (measured by in vitro assays). The recovery of different phytochemicals was favoured by longer extraction times. Ellagitannins (mainly punicalagin derivatives) were extracted better from samples irradiated at 5 kGy and were not significantly affected by the 10 kGy dose. However, the total contents of flavonoids and organic acids were decreased by the consequent increase in irradiation dose. Therefore, this study supports the use of gamma radiation for processing T. lignosa, aiming to obtain ellagitannin-rich bioactive extracts.