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PhytoChemical analysis of ratiles (Muntingia Calabura L.) and Spectrophotometric measurements of its Antioxidant activity using DPPH assay.


Zhyra Gail T. Catli,
Ma. Patricia Isobel S. Aragon,
Ma. Franceska Carbonel,
Benigno Capili,
Alan Canlapan,
Diana Castro,
Crisostomo Ayson

Publication Information

Publication Type
Research Report


Background: According to the department of health - Health intelligence service (DOH-HIS, 1992, 1996), cancer ranks third in the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the Philippines, Thus, efforts in the prevention of cancer are being implemented. As the occurrence of chronic illnesses increase, interest of the use of preventive measures such as antioxidant also increases. Primary sources of naturally occurring antioxidants are plants. It is for this reason that the researchers focus on natural antioxidants that are from medicinal plants.

Objective: To determine the phytochemicals present in Muntingiacalabura  L, the antioxidant activity of the leaves, bark and fruits of the plant sample and which among these samples have higher antioxidant capacity.

Method: Leaves, bark and fruits of Muntingiacalabura  L, also known as Ratiles, were analysed for phytochemicals present and antioxidant activity. Plant samples were sent to the department of science and technology for phytochemical analysis. Plant samples with varying concentrations were added to the DPPH stable free radicals and let stand 30 minutes in the dark. Barach coleman spectrophotometer was used to read the absorbance at 520nm and regressing expotential slopes were prepared for vitamin c and parts of Muntingia calabura L.; leaves, fruits and bark. Regression Equations were used to compute for the EC50. Free radical scavenging activities of plant samples were expressed in Ascorbic acid equivalent antioxidant activity (AEAC).

Results: Both the fruits and leaves were positive for saponins, hydrolysable tannins and leucoanthocyannin. Bark tested positive for anthocyanin in addition to the previously mentioned phytochemicals. Leaves have the highest EC50 value of 0.0436, followed by bark and fruits with the values of 0.0426 and 0.0362 respectively. Fruits have the highest AEAC value of 85, 827.1 mg/100g, followed by bark and leaves with the values of 72,949.2 mg/100g and 71, 249.7mg/100g. Percent inhibition values at 0.125mg/ml of crude extract showed the fruits have the highest inhibitory concentration and were able to inhibit DPPH having a 90.83% loss followed by bark and leaves giving 87.70% and 84.56% loss respectively.

Conclusion: The DPPH assay measures the ability of the extract to donate hydrogen to DPPH radical resulting to bleaching of DPPH solution. The greater the bleaching action, the higher the antioxidant activity (AEAC value)  and this reflect in a lower EC50 value. Thus since the fruit has the lowest EC50 and highest AEAC value, it suggests that it has the highest antioxidant capacity followed by the bark and the leaves. The results showed that the given plant samples are potential sources of antioxidant.


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2. Edeoga, H.. Phytochemical constituents of some Nigerian medicinal plants. 2005.

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