Characterization of Extra Early Spanish Clementine Varieties (Citrus clementina Hort ex Tan) as a Relevant Source of Bioactive Compounds with Antioxidant Activity

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The most relevant nutrients and bioactive compounds (soluble sugars, dietary fiber, ascorbic acid and organic acids, individual phenolic compounds, fatty acids, and tocopherols) as well as antioxidant activity have been characterized in three extra early varieties of clementine (Citrus clementina Hort ex Tan. Basol, Clemensoon and Clemenrubí) cultivated in Valencia (Spain). Clementines are a relevant source of bioactive compounds, such as vitamin C (values around 80 mg/100 g), allowing to satisfy the recommended daily intake with the consumption of a normal portion. Sucrose was the most abundant sugar, and potassium the main mineral while manganese was the least. Fat content was very low (<0.5 mg/100 g), with palmitic acid and α-tocopherol the most abundant fatty acid and vitamin E form, respectively. Flavonoids were the predominant phenolic compounds, with narirutin/naringin and (neo)hesperidin the best represented ones. The antioxidant capacity evaluated by reducing power, DPPH, and β-carotene bleaching inhibition assays was satisfactory with values similar to those reported in other citrus fruits. Thus, this fruit is a relevant source of bioactive compounds with antioxidant properties of interest for consumers and the food industry.
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