Phytochemical analysis of ten varieties of pawpaw (Asimina triloba [L.] Dunal) fruit pulp.
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Pawpaw (Asimina triloba [L.] Dunal) is a tree fruit with the potential to become a high-value fruit crop, however, its rapid perishability is a significant obstacle. The objective was to determine the phytochemical content and quality characteristics of pawpaw pulp from ten varieties. This study reports for the first time the mass spectral characterization of phenolic acids and flavonoids of pawpaw, which indicated that the predominant polyphenolic compounds were three phenolic acids, protocatechuic acid hexoside, p-coumaroyl hexoside, and 5-O-p-coumaroylquinic acid, and flavonols, particularly (-)-epicatechin, B-type procyanidin dimers and trimers. The relationship between the polyphenolics identified in the current study and future work on polyphenolic oxidase activity will help the process of assessing whether pawpaws should be selected based on potential health benefits, i.e. high polyphenolic content, or increased shelf life in the form of decreased browning that may be afforded pawpaws containing low polyphenolic levels via decreased action of polyphenol oxidase.