Two projects implemented by the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) found that duhat (Syzygium cumini (L.) Skeels) and bignay (Antidesma bunius (L.) Spreng) contain anthocyanins that possess health-promoting properties, particularly antioxidant and enzyme inhibitory properties. Because of these properties, the two extracts can be processed as food supplements and food additives. They also have nutraceutical properties.
Extracts that have enzyme inhibition can be produced as medicine to treat diseases. Inhibitors target an enzyme in a person’s system and correct a particular condition. Meanwhile, an antioxidant is a compound that prevents deterioration or removes damaging oxidizing agents.
Duhat and bignay extracts contain phenolic compounds, which can help in preventing and treating cancer. The anthocyanin from duhat and bignay extracts are processed into powder through microencapsulation.
The said microencapsulated anthocyanin extracts can benefit fruit growers, food processors, researchers. They are also beneficial to the health and wellness and veterinary industries.
These initiatives are under the program, “Emerging Interdisciplinary Research (EIDR)” which is funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and monitored by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of DOST (DOST-PCAARRD).
Under the program are: Project 1, “In vitro Release Properties of the Microencapsulated Anthocyanin Extracts Prepared with Duhat (Syzygium cumini (L.)) and Bignay (Antidesma bunius (L.) Spreng)” and Project 2, “Evaluation of In Vivo Health Effects of the Microencapsulated Anthocyanin Extracts Prepared with Duhat (Syzygium cumini (L.)) and Bignay (Antidesma bunius (L.) Spreng)” (DOST-PCAARRD S&T Media Services).