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Nutritional Value and Antimicrobial Activity of Pittosporum angustifolium (Gumby Gumby), an Australian Indigenous Plant

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by Anh Dao Thi Phan 1,2,Mridusmita Chaliha 1,Hung Trieu Hong 1,Ujang Tinggi 3,Michael E. Netzel 1,* andYasmina Sultanbawa 1,*

1 ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Uniquely Australian Foods, Centre for Nutrition and Food Sciences, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, The University of Queensland, Coopers Plans 4108, Australia

2 Department of Food Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, Can Tho University, Can Tho 94000, Vietnam

3 Health Support Queensland, Queensland Health Department, Coopers Plans 4108, Australia

Nutritional Value and Antimicrobial Activity of Pittosporum angustifolium (Gumby Gumby), an Australian Indigenous Plant

by Anh Dao Thi Phan 1,2,Mridusmita Chaliha 1,Hung Trieu Hong 1,Ujang Tinggi 3,Michael E. Netzel 1,* and

Yasmina Sultanbawa 1,*

1 ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Uniquely Australian Foods, Centre for Nutrition and Food Sciences, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, The University of Queensland, Coopers Plans 4108, Australia

2 Department of Food Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, Can Tho University, Can Tho 94000, Vietnam

3 Health Support Queensland, Queensland Health Department, Coopers Plans 4108, Australia

Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Foods 20209(7), 887; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9070887

Received: 29 May 2020 / Revised: 30 June 2020 / Accepted: 1 July 2020 / Published: 6 July 2020

Abstract

The indigenous endemic plant P. angustifolium has received attention for nutraceutical and therapeutic applications in Australia. This study investigates for the first time the nutritional value (macro- and micronutrients, minerals, trace elements, polyphenols, carotenoids, saponins and antioxidant capacity) and antimicrobial activity of different botanical parts of P. angustifolium, either collected from the wild or cultivated. Different botanical tissues, geographic location and growing condition (wild vs. cultivated) showed significant (p < 0.05) effects on the tested bioactive compounds, with the leaves having significantly (p < 0.05) higher levels than the stems. Saponins and polyphenols could be identified as the main bioactive compounds in the leaves with up to 4% per dry weight. The extracts of P. angustifolium leaves and stems showed strong antioxidant and antimicrobial activities, especially against Candida albicans. These activities correlated (R2 = 0.64–0.92; p < 0.05) with the levels of polyphenols and saponins, indicating their biologic potential. Findings from this study may provide information for future applications of P. angustifolium in the functional ingredient or nutraceutical industry.

Keywords: Gumby GumbyAustralian indigenous plantnutrientsbioactive compoundsantimicrobial activity

1. Introduction

There is a global demand for natural ingredients from plant sources with multifunctional properties for application in the food and nutraceutical industries. In 2018, the market for herbal dietary supplements in the United States increased by 9.4% and the value of this market reached an estimated 8.842 billion dollars across all market channels, marking the strongest US sale growth of herbal supplements since 1998 [1]. Similarly, there is a growing demand for foods and medicines that are known for their customary usage by Indigenous communities. These interests range from general desires for prevention from acute and chronic diseases, maintenance of good health, well-being, immune system strengthening and energy sustenance, to seeking out traditional foods/native plants that provide natural antioxidants and antimicrobials. There are many plant bioactive compounds of particular interest such as saponins, polyphenols including tannins and alkaloids, which are known to assist in providing the above benefits to human health and well-being.

P. angustifolium (common name: Gumby Gumby) is a shrub tree, native to Australia. This species belongs to the genus Pittosporum and the family Pittosporaceae, consisting of approximately 200 species in nine genera [2]. P. angustifolium has been found mainly in inland Australia, New Zealand and many other parts of the world [2]. Different botanical tissues of P. angustifolium have been traditionally used as Indigenous bush medicine across inland Australia for hundreds of years to enhance general health and well-being. The infusions from leaves were used to treat cold and coughs and to induce lactation [3]. Decoction made from the fruits was taken orally or applied to treat skin problems such as eczema and pruritus [2,4]. In addition, P. angustifolium has been traditionally used for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions [5]. Recently, Madikizela and McGaw [6] summarized information on traditional medicinal applications of the genus Pittosporum for treatment of a wide range of infections such as inflammatory, spasmodic, malarial and microbial infections (e.g., narcotics, chronic bronchitis, leprous infection, rheumatic, bruises, sciatica, chest infection and certain skin diseases). Interestingly, all parts of the Pittosporum plants, including leaf, bark, root, flower, fruit pulp, seed and even wood, have been reported to show potential medicinal applications in many countries such as Australia, China, India and South Africa [6].

The increasing interest in drug discovery from native medicinal plants has led to many studies on extraction, identification and quantification of bioactive compounds in different species of Pittosporum genus, P. angustifolium included [6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14]. Several bioactive compounds have been identified in the crude extracts of P. angustifolium such as triterpenoid saponins in leaves and seeds [7,8,9,10,11], phenolic acids and flavonoids in leaves (Figure 1) [12], tannins and essential oils in leaves and fruits [11]. Among them, triterpenoid saponins, essential oils and non-tannin polyphenols are reported as main bioactive compounds in the Pittosporum genus [6,13], whereas tannins and alkaloids are minor compounds. There seems to be no alkaloids present in the leaves and fruits of P. angustifolium [11,14].

Reference:

https://www.mdpi.com/2304-8158/9/7/887/htm

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