J Food Sci. 2015 May 5
Propolis has been proposed as a polyphenolic-rich natural product potentially able to be used for human consumption or even for medicinal proposes. To guarantee a minimum phenolic and flavonoid content and as consequence of their related-biological activities, international requirements of propolis quality are commonly applied. In this work we assessed phenolic and flavonoid contents of propolis; the antioxidant capacity (toward peroxyl radicals and hypochlorous acid); the ability to generate nitric oxide (NO); and, finally the antimicrobial activity of 6 propolis samples from the VI region of Chile. Our results show that the total phenolic and flavonoid content of propolis samples are not always in agreement with their polyphenolic-associated in vitro activities. For example, P03 and P06 samples showed the lowest (25 ± 4 GAE/g propolis) and the highest (105 ± 3 GAE/g propolis) total phenolic content, respectively. This was in agreement with flavonoid content and their Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) activity. However, this dependence was not observed toward HOCl, NO release and antimicrobial activity.
Based on our results, we consider that, in order to guarantee the antioxidant or antimicrobial in vitro effects, the international regulations of propolis quality should contemplate the convenience of incorporating other simple analytical test such as ORAC or antimicrobial tests.