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Influence of Ripeness and Drying Process on the Polyphenols and Tocopherols of Pistacia vera L.

Ballistreri, G., E. Arena, B. Fallico, 2009. Influence of Ripeness and Drying Process on the Polyphenols and Tocopherols of Pistacia vera L. Molecules. 14:4358-4369.

This paper highlights, for the first time, the changes in the phenolics fraction (anthocyanins, flavonoids and stilbenes) and tocopherols of unpeeled Pistacia vera L. var. bianca with ripening, and the effect of the sun-drying process. The total polyphenol levels in pistachios, measured as mg of Gallic Acid Equivalent (GAE), were: 201 ± 10.1, 349 ± 18.3 and 184.7 ± 6.2 mg GAE/100 g DM in unripe, ripe and dried ripe samples, respectively. Most phenolics in ripe pistachios were found to be anthocyanins. They increased with ripening, while the sun drying process caused a susbtantial loss. Flavonoids found in all pistachio samples were daidzein, genistein, daidzin, quercetin, eriodictyol, luteolin, genistin and naringenin, which decreased both with ripening and drying. Before the drying process both unripe and ripe pistachios showed a higher content of transresveratrol than dried ripe samples. γ-Tocopherol was the major vitamin E isomer found in pistachios. The total content (of α- and γ-tocopherols) decreased, both during ripening and during the drying process. These results suggested that unpeeled pistachios can be considered an important source of phenolics, particularly of anthocyanins. Moreover, in order to preserve these healthy characteristics, new and more efficient drying processes should be adopted.