In vitro digestive activity and stability study of Rhus chinensis Mill. fruit and its value-added products
Rhus chinensis Mill. belonging to the family Anacardiaceae is a highly acidic fruit-bearing tree abundantly grown in the North-Eastern part of India. Due to its high medicinal values, the local medical practitioners of this region have widely used the fruit in various treatments like indigestion, dysentery, and gastrointestinal disturbances since ancient times. However, because of its ‘underutilized status’, there is an acute shortage of scientific literature thereby undermining its high potential use in developing many commercial functional foods or food ingredients. Therefore, this study was undertaken to address the same by formulating natural digestive tablets, R. chinensis tablets and R. chinensis candy from the fruit with minimal expenses. R. chinensis fruit and its products’ efficacy for the digestive property was determined in vitro by amylolytic, proteolytic and lipolytic activity and compared other commercial samples of the herbal digestive, Gasex and allopathic digestive, Unienzyme. The formulation was evaluated for a period of zero to 90 days. Physical parameters viz. extractive values, total titratable acidity, total soluble solids, pH, and reducing sugar were determined. The fruit and its products showed significant amylolytic, proteolytic, and lipolytic activities in comparison with other commercial samples. Interestingly in all the samples, no significant changes in digestive activities were observed during the storage period. The formulations were found to possess the property of breaking down starch, protein, lipid into simpler units hence, substantiating the traditional practice of digestive activity. This is the first scientific record in terms of in vitro digestive property of R. chinensis fruit.
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