The effects of freeze-drying on antioxidant compounds and antioxidant activity of five tropical fruits, namely starfruit ( Averrhoa carambola L.), mango ( Mangifera indica L.), papaya ( Carica papaya L.), muskmelon ( Cucumis melo L.), and watermelon Citruluss lanatus (Thunb.) were investigated. Significant ( p < 0.05) differences, for the amounts of total phenolic compounds (TPC), were found between the fresh and freeze-dried fruit samples, except muskmelon. There was no significant ( p > 0.05) change, however, observed in the ascorbic acid content of the fresh and freeze-dried fruits. Similarly, freeze-drying did not exert any considerable effect on β-carotene concentration of fruits, except for mango and watermelon, where significantly ( p < 0.05) higher levels were detected in the fresh samples. The results of DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) radical scavenging and reducing power assays revealed that fresh samples of starfruit and mango had relatively higher antioxidant activity. In case of linoleic acid peroxidation inhibition measurement, a significant ( p < 0.05) but random variation was recorded between the fresh and freeze-dried fruits. Overall, in comparison to β-carotene and ascorbic acid, a good correlation was established between the result of TPC and antioxidant assays, indicating that phenolics might have been the dominant compounds contributing towards the antioxidant activity of the fruits tested.
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