Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) is a well-known and widely used fruit, which contains several interesting bioactive compounds and possess health-promoting properties. Seeing the importance of this fruit, it was essential to study its quality characteristics. Hence, in the current study, we assessed total phenolic content, flavonoid content and antioxidant activity of different plant parts (leaves, rind and arils) of two pomegranate cultivars (Kesar and Ganesh). The analysis of phytochemical constituents in the cultivars revealed that, the content of phenolics ranged from 49.3 to 602.9 mg TAE/g plant material and the content of flavonoids ranged from 0.27 to 18.8 mg RE/g plant material. The maximum amount of phenolics and flavonoids was observed in the rind extracts as compared to the leaves and arils in both the cultivars. On the other hand, the antioxidant activity determined by different antioxidant models exhibited various degrees of antioxidant activity in different plant parts of the cultivars and was found to be highest in rind and aril extracts than that of leaves. Among the solvents used methanol and ethanol gave highest extraction yields as compared to water and acetone. Total phenolics and flavonoids were significantly different with methanol and ethanol being the most efficient solvent and acetone being the least efficient one. Correlation between the antioxidant activity and phenolics and flavonoid content was found to be significant. Thus the results strongly indicated that there were significant differences between pomegranate cultivars. Generally the cultivar Ganesh has higher antioxidant activity as well as total phenolics and flavonoid content in comparison to Kesar.
Keywords: Punicaceae, Kesar, Ganesh, Phytochemicals, Free radicals, Antioxidants.