Potential Nutrition and Health Claims in Deastringed Persimmon Fruits (Diospyros kaki L.), Variety ‘Rojo Brillante’, PDO ’Ribera del Xúquer’

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In Europe, nutrition and health claims made on food must be based on scientific evidence, which means a comprehensive evaluation by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) prior to authorisation. Processed foods are subject to numerous claims derived from the presence of bioactive compounds; however, natural food products, often the original sources of those compounds, are not habitually the subject of these claims. Although the consumption of persimmon fruit has important health benefits, up to date no specific health claims are authorised for this fruit. In this work, ‘Rojo Brillante’ persimmon fruits (Diospyros kaki L.), Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) ‘Ribera del Xúquer’ were characterized regarding the presence of fiber (soluble and insoluble), vitamin C (ascorbic and dehydroascorbic acids), carotenoids (neoxanthin, violaxanthin, β-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, β- carotene) and mineral elements (Fe, Cu, Zn, Mn, Ca, Mg, Na, K). Different fruit batches harvested in different seasons were analyzed by standardized analytical methods (Association of Official Analytical Chemists, AOAC), high-performance liquid chromatography with ultraviolet detection (HPLC-UV) and atomic absorption spectroscopy. Based on the results, Persimon® is potentially able to show two nutrition claims “Source of fiber” and “Sodium-free/salt-free”. This work could set the ground for future studies and to start considering natural food products as candidates for the use of approved claims.
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