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Date [ 2014-08-08, 05:39 ]

Researchers have come up with a new fruit juice that is beneficial as well as tasty.

(Kuala Lumpur=Koreanpress) Nanacy Joseph = The new drink, Golden-C, is enriched with antioxidants from the mas cotek herb.

Researchers at the Universiti Teknologi MARA have enhanced the antioxidants present in mango fruit drink by adding the extracts of naturally occuring traditional herbs in Malaysia. This is due to the realisation of the good health effects of dietary antioxidants that is present in Malaysia’s variety of fruits and herbs.

It has prompted the idea of developing commercial antioxidant-rich beverages.

As the Malaysian daily diet includes the consumption of raw vegetables and herbs, scientific studies have been carried out to evaluate the beneficial effects of Malaysian herbs. A number of studies support the intake of local herbs to prevent diseases mainly caused by oxidative stress. These studies have enabled some of our herbs to be turned into products, either in tablet form or mixed into drinks to simplify and assist the pharmacological effects of the herbs.

Known to be rich in vitamin C, the mango is regarded as one of the most popular fruits from the tropics. Numerous high quality mango clones are available in Malaysia. Interest then arose in incorporating an extract from local Malaysian herbs into the mango drink to create a new way of enjoying the goodness of mango.

The antioxidant properties of herbs have been proven to deliver beneficial effects and phenolic compounds such as flavonoids (a yellow
crystalline compound found in plants) have been observed to provide antioxidant effects. Thus, herbs known to possess high antioxidant properties were selected for use in this study. However, some herbs are not suitable for incorporation into mango drink due to the pungent taste and colour of the herb extract, which could interrupt the organoleptic properties of the mango drink.

The objective of the present work was to produce a new mango drink enriched with the antioxidants of the mas cotek (Ficus deltoidea) herb. This traditional herb is a plant from the family Moraceae that has been used traditionally for its medicinal properties. Mas cotek is used to treat pneumonia, diabetes, hypertension, diarrhoea and gout.

The following tests found that dried Ficus deltoidea leaves extracted with water at 50 degree celsius for 20 hours, yielded an aqueous extract with the highest content of flavonoids and total phenolics. A total of 25 flavonoid compounds consisting of 9 flavonols and 16 flavones were tentatively identified from dried leaves of mas cotek using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) coupled to a photodiode array and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry.

The results suggested that mas cotek could be a suitable herb for adding to mango drink. Moreover, mas cotek has positive effects on glucose and lipid levels and has been found safe for use in humans.

The bioactive composition (flavonoids and vitamin C) of mango drink containing a mas cotek aqueous extract exhibited higher total phenolic content and total flavonoid compound, compared to mango drink that did not incorporate mas cotek.  What is more, when incorporated into mango drink, the mas cotek aqueous extract did not affect the organoleptic properties of the drink. Therefore, the study concluded that the Golden-C – which consists of 20% mango pulp and 50% mas cotek – has the potential to be developed as a new health drink.

This product was exhibited at the Invention Innovation and Design Expo 2014.

abc@koreanpress.net


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