Antioxidant activity of natural resins and bioactive triterpenes in oil substrates
A.N. Assimopoulou, S.N. Zlatanos and V.P. Papageorgiou
Organic Chemistry Laboratory, Department of Chemical Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 541 24 Thessaloniki, Greece
Natural resins that possess biological properties (Pistacia lentiscus var. Chia, Commiphora myrrh, Boswellia serrata and Gum storax) and the bioactive triterpenes (oleanolic acid and ursolic acid) were studied for their antioxidant activities. Lard, corn oil, olive oil and sunflower oil were used as oil substrates for the antioxidant assay. Pistacia lentiscus resin showed significant antioxidant activity in each of the oil substrates examined; the best concentration of the resin presenting the highest activity depended on the substrate. The combination of P. lentiscus resin with citric acid presented a synergistic effect in both sunflower oil and corn oil. Essential oils of C. myrrh and B. serrata resins and the triterpenes, ursolic and oleanolic acid, presented satisfactory antioxidant activity in sunflower oil. In lard, P. lentiscus and B. serrata showed good antioxidant activity while, in virgin olive oil, P. lentiscus resin and its essential oil presented high antioxidant activity. It can be concluded that Pistacia lentiscus resin and the essential oils of P. lentiscus, C. myrrh and B. serrata can be used in pharmaceutical and cosmetic preparations, and in functional foods, due to their
antioxidant effects in oil substrates.
Keywords: Pistacia lentiscus; Commiphora myrrh; Boswellia serrata; Mastic gum ; Antioxidant
activity; Oven test