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Four ecotypes of pomegranate fruits growing in the Salento area were characterized for their content in terms of total phenols, sugars, organic acids, anthocyanins, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. The results showed that in the fruit juice the amount of phenols ranged between 0.8–1.7 g l−1; the content in terms of simple sugars was about 140 g l−1, while the amount of citric and malic acids ranged between 1.4–13.3 and 0.8–7.7 g l−1, respectively. Seven anthocyanin pigments were found; these were analysed quantitatively and qualitatively by HPLC-DAD-MS and identified as delphinidin 3,5-diglucoside, cyanidin 3,5-diglucoside, pelargonidin 3,5-diglucoside, delphinidin 3-glucoside, cyanidin 3-glucoside, pelargonidin 3-glucoside and cyanidin 3-arabinoside. The antioxidant activity, determined as DPPH scavenger and TEAC, ranged between 17.2 and 39.1% and between 9 and 19 μmol Trolox per ml of juice, respectively. All the pomegranate juices showed an anti-inflammatory activity (measured by COX inhibitory assay) which was compared with two commercial anti-inflammatory drugs (Ibuprofen and Nimesulide).

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