African Journal of
Biotechnology

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Biotechnol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1684-5315
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJB
  • Start Year: 2002
  • Published Articles: 12258

Full Length Research Paper

Heritability of polyphenols, anthocyanins and antioxidant capacity of Cameroonian cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) beans

Pierre Effa Onomo*
  • Pierre Effa Onomo*
  • Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Yaoundé I, P.O Box 812, Yaounde, Cameroon; Laboratory of Plant Physiology, Department of Biological Sciences, Higher Teacher’s Training College, University of Yaoundé I, PO Box 47, Yaounde, Cameroon.
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Nicolas Niemenak
  • Nicolas Niemenak
  • Laboratory of Plant Physiology, Department of Biological Sciences, Higher Teacher’s Training College, University of Yaoundé I, PO Box 47, Yaounde, Cameroon.
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Pierre Francois Djocgoue
  • Pierre Francois Djocgoue
  • Laboratory of Plant Physiology, Department of Biological Sciences, Higher Teacher’s Training College, University of Yaoundé I, PO Box 47, Yaounde, Cameroon; Department of Plant Biology, Faculty of Science, P.O. Box 812 Yaoundé, Cameroon.
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Martine Louise Ondobo
  • Martine Louise Ondobo
  • Laboratory of Plant Physiology, Department of Biological Sciences, Higher Teacher’s Training College, University of Yaoundé I, PO Box 47, Yaounde, Cameroon.
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Denis Omokolo Ndoumou
  • Denis Omokolo Ndoumou
  • Laboratory of Plant Physiology, Department of Biological Sciences, Higher Teacher’s Training College, University of Yaoundé I, PO Box 47, Yaounde, Cameroon.
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  •  Received: 12 May 2015
  •  Accepted: 02 September 2015
  •  Published: 09 September 2015

Abstract

This study investigates the heritability of polyphenolic, anthocyanin and antioxidant capacity of beans derived from four cocoa clones and their offsprings. These compounds were analyzed at 280 nm (polyphenols) and 520 nm (anthocyanins) by reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) method using a photodiode array detector (PDA). The antioxidant capacity of methanolic extracts prepared from cocoa beans was measured by the DPPH and ABTS assays. Samples displayed catechin and epicatechin as the two main polyphenols. Epicatechin, which represents 1 to 5% of defatted cocoa seed powder, was hundred-fold higher than catechin while cyanidin-3-arabinoside was three-fold higher than cyanidin-3-galactoside. The two main anthocyanins found in our samples represent about 0.05% of defatted cocoa seed powder. All these compounds were genotype-dependent. Unidentified substances called A, B and C were also found in cocoa seeds. Substance A is discussed as a derivative of caffeic acid and an ester-bound compound. Substances B and C are oligomers of proanthocyanidins. Antioxidant capacity of cocoa beans obtained by 2,2'-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid (ABTS) assay was higher than those obtained by DPPH assay. According to correlation tests, flavanols contributed better in the antioxidant capacity than anthocyanin. No maternal effect was detected in the transmission of polyphenol compounds suggesting a nuclear heritability.

Key words: Theobroma cacao, cocoa beans, polyphenolic compounds, anthocyanins, heritability.

Abbreviation

ABTS, 2,2'-Azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid); Cya-ara, cyanidin 3-o-α-L-arabinoside; Cya-gal, cyanidin 3-o-β-D-galactoside; DPPH, 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl; GAE, gallic acid equivalents; HPLC, high performance liquid chromatography; PDA, photodiode array detector; SPSS, statistical package for the social sciences; TEAC, trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity.