Organic acids in Kakadu plum (Terminalia ferdinandiana): the good (ellagic), the bad (oxalic) and the uncertain (ascorbic)

Williams, David J., Edwards, David, Pun, Sharon, Chaliha, Mridusmita, Burren, Brian, Tinggi, Ujang and Sultanbawa, Yasmina (2016) Organic acids in Kakadu plum (Terminalia ferdinandiana): the good (ellagic), the bad (oxalic) and the uncertain (ascorbic). Food Research International, 89 237-244. doi:10.1016/j.foodres.2016.08.004

Author Williams, David J.
Edwards, David
Pun, Sharon
Chaliha, Mridusmita
Burren, Brian
Tinggi, Ujang
Sultanbawa, Yasmina
Title Organic acids in Kakadu plum (Terminalia ferdinandiana): the good (ellagic), the bad (oxalic) and the uncertain (ascorbic)
Formatted title
Organic acids in Kakadu plum (Terminalia ferdinandiana): the good (ellagic), the bad (oxalic) and the uncertain (ascorbic)
Journal name Food Research International   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0963-9969
Publication date 2016-08-08
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.foodres.2016.08.004
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 89
Start page 237
End page 244
Total pages 8
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon Press
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The phenolic ellagic acid (EA) is receiving increasing attention for its nutritional and pharmacological potential as an antioxidant and antimicrobial agent. The Australian native Kakadu plum (Terminalia ferdinandiana) fruit is an abundant source of this phytochemical. The fruit also contains large amounts of vitamin C (mainly as ascorbic acid, AA) and possibly the undesirable oxalic acid (OA). Regular consumption of high oxalate foods poses a variety of health risks in humans including interference with calcium absorption and kidney stone formation. Oxalate is also the end-product of AA metabolism so that consumption of fruit with heightened AA content has the potential to elevate urinary oxalate levels. The aims of this study were to investigate the distribution of EA and the presence of other bioactives in other Kakadu plum tissues. Chemical analysis of Kakadu plum fruit and leaves for EA (free and total), OA (water-soluble and total), calcium (Ca) and AA indicated that EA and AA concentrations were high in the fruit while the leaves had significantly higher EA levels but little or no detectable AA. OA content in fruit and leaves was substantial with the fruit being placed in the high-Oxalate category. These findings suggest that there is potential to elevate oxalate levels in the urine of susceptible people and intake of fruit-derived products should be closely monitored. By measuring tissues collected from specific trees, high EA-producing or low OA-containing individuals were identified.
Keyword Identification of individual trees possessing high bioactive tissues
Kakadu plum fruit and leaves
Link between oxalic and ascorbic acids
Nutraceutical plant
Oxalate: Calcium ratio
Quantification of organic acids
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
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