Effects of flavonoid pigments on chlorophyll (Chl) degradation by Chl peroxidase in the flavedo of Wase satsuma mandarin (Citrus unshiu Marc. var. praecox Tanaka) fruits were studied. Chl was degraded when hydrogen peroxide was added in a reaction mixture containing Chl and a phosphate buffer extract from the flavedo. Chlorophyllide, which was formed by the action of chlorophyllase in the extract, was also degraded. The flavonoid contents decreased with the Chl degradation in the reaction mixture. Analysis of the flavonoid with HPLC showed that hesperidin and narirutin were contained in the flavedo as a major flavonoid, and that the former decreased significantly and the latter showed almost no change with the Chl degradation in the reaction mixture. In the ethylene-treated fruits, the hesperidin content in the flavedo also decreased with the degreening of stored fruits, suggesting that the flavonoid oxidation by Chl peroxidase could be involved in the Chl degradation.
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