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Crab apple (Malus baccata (L.) Borkh.) was mainly distributed in Europe as an ornamental plant, but the nutritional properties of its edible fruits were not fully revealed. The aim of the current study was to characterize the phytochemical composition of ripen carb apple fruits and to evaluate their nutritional and antioxidant potentials. The fruits were assayed for moisture and ash content, proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, titratable acidity (TA), pH, total phenolic compounds and natural pigments. Among the analyzed carbohydrates cellulose was found in the highest content (6% dw), followed by sugars (sucrose, glucose and fructose) and 1.8 % dw uronic acids. The total chlorophylls and carotenoids contents in their fruits were 6.51 and 4.80 μg/g fw, respectively. Total monomeric anthocyanins were not detected. The highest content of total phenolic compounds (2.67 mg GAE/g fw) was found in 95 % ethanol extract from fruits, while the total flavonoids were relatively low – 0.1 mg QE/g fw. DPPH assay (17.27 mM TE/g fw) and FRAP assay (14.34 mM TE/g fw) demonstrated in vitro antioxidant activities of crabapple. Malus baccata fruits were evaluated as a rich source of dietary fibers and phenolic compounds with significant antioxidant potential that could be used in human nutrition.
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