Vol. 6, Issue 6 (2017)
Nutraceutical and antioxidant properties of Cucumis hardwickii Royle: A potent wild edible fruit collected from Uttarakhand, India
Author(s): Tapan Seal, Kausik Chaudhuri and Basundhara Pillai
Abstract: The objective of the present study was to evaluate the proximate composition, mineral content, simultaneous quantitation of water-soluble vitamins like ascorbic acid (C), thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine ( B6) and folic acid ( B9) by HPLC of the fruits of a wild edible fruit, Cucumis hardwickii Royle The in vitro antioxidant properties and HPLC fingerprinting assay for the simultaneous estimation of phenolic acids and flavonoids of the 80 % aqueous ethanol extract of this fruit has also carried out. The fresh fruits of C. hardwickii were collected from Uttarakhand, India the proximate parameters, minerals and toxic heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, chromium and mercury were evaluated in the wild edible fruit using standard food analysis techniques. The 80% aqueous (aq.) ethanol extract of the plant was examined for its antioxidant activities. The water soluble vitamins, phenolic acids and flavonoids were estimated by HPLC using Acclaim C 18 column (5 μm particle size, 250 x 4.6 mm), Dionex Ultimate 3000 liquid chromatograph and detection was carried out in photo diode array (PDA) detector. The present study showed the presence of very good amount of protein (11.9±1.36%), carbohydrate (12.57±1.65%) and minerals in various amount. The heavy metals Pb and Cr were detected in very low amount and Cd and Hg were not detected in this fruit.The total phenolic and flavonoid content were found 540.12 ± 1.72 mg/100gm and 74.34 mg/100gm respectively in the plant. The plant contains a very good amount of vitamin C (130.76±0.05 mg/100gm) along with water soluble B vitamins ranged between 0.27 to 1.61 mg/100gm. The HPLC analysis also showed the presence of phenolic acids and flavonoids in various amounts in this wild edible plant. The outcome of investigation indicates that proximate composition, mineral contents and water soluble vitamin content of this fruit under investigation were richer than that of the commercial vegetables and could be used for the nutritional purpose. This fruit is also a good source of natural antioxidants and has beneficial effect to human being. The present study also gives an account of traditional significance of the wild plants under investigation.