Evaluation of anti-melanogenic activity of Ziziphus jujuba fruits obtained by two different extraction methods

Document Type : Original paper


1 Pharmacology & Physiology Department, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran

2 Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Background and objectives: Dried pulps and peels of Ziziphus jujuba fruits are commonly applied as food because of their high nutritional value. It has been widely used in traditional medicine as laxative, tonic, wound healing agent and appetizer. The aim of this study was to evaluate the anti-melanogenic effects of Z. jujuba fruit.
Methods: Fruit extracts were obtained by two different extraction methods, percolation (cold extraction) and soxhlet (hot extraction) using methanol 80% as the solvent. The total phenolic and flavonoid contents, DPPH radical scavenging activity and anti-tyrosinase capacity of the MeOH extracts from Z. jujuba fruits were evaluated in vitro. In addition, the effects of fruit extracts on the melanin content and cytotoxicity on human melanoma SKMEL-3 cells were determined after 72 hours. Results: The amount of total phenolic and flavonoid contents of the cold extract were found higher in comparison to the hot extract. Moreover, the antioxidant (SC50 =1.40 mg/mL) and anti-tyrosinase activities (IC50 = 0.54 mg/mL) of the cold extract were significantly stronger than the hot extract. At the dose of 500 μg/mL, the cold extract showed weaker toxicity to the melanoma cells than the hot extract. Melanin content of the cold extract was reduced to 30% at this concentration, while the hot extract had no inhibitory effect on melanin formation.
Conclusion: The results showed that the percolation method was more suitable for extraction of the (poly) phenolics from Z. jujuba fruits. In addition, the results of tyrosinase activity and melanin content assays suggested that the cold extract of Z. jujuba fruit can be considered as a dermatological whitening agent in skin care products.


[1] Li JW, Ding SD, Ding XL. Optimization of the ultrasonically assisted extraction of polysaccharides from Zizyphus jujuba cv. Jinsixiaozao. J Food Eng. 2007; 80(1): 176-183.
[2] Gao QH, Wu CS, Wang M. The jujube (Ziziphus jujuba Mill.) fruit: a review of current knowledge of fruit composition and health benefits. J Agric Food Chem. 2013; 61(14): 3351-3363.
[3] Al-Reza SM, Yoon JI, Kim HJ, Kim JS, Kang SC. Anti-inflammatory activity of seed essential oil from Zizyphus jujuba. Food Chem Toxicol. 2010; 48(2): 639-643.
[4] Jiang JG, Huang XJ, Chen J. Separation and purification of saponins from Semen Ziziphus jujuba and their sedative and hypnotic effects. J Pharm Pharmacol. 2007; 59(8): 1175-1180.
[5] Ganachari MS, Shiv K, Bhat KG. Effect of Ziziphus jujuba leaves extract on phagocytosis by human neutrophils. J Nat Rem. 2004; 4(1): 47-51.
[6] Huang X, Kojima-Yuasa A, Norikur T, Kennedy DO, Hasuma T, Matsui-Yuasa I. Mechanism of the anti-cancer activity of Zizyphus jujuba in HepG2 cells. Am J Chin Med. 2007; 35(3): 517-532.
[7] Mahajan RT, Chopda MZ. Phyto-Pharmacology of Ziziphus jujuba Mill- A plant review. Phcog Rev. 2009; 3(6): 320-329.
[9] Sabzghabaee AM, Khayam I, Kelishadi R, Ghannadi A, Soltani R, Badri S, Shirani S. Effect of Zizyphus jujuba fruits on dyslipidemia in obese adolescents: a triple-masked randomized controlled clinical trial. Med Arch. 2013; 67(3): 156-159.
[10] Zhao Z, Li J, Wu X, Dai H, Gao X, Liu M, Tu P. Structure and immunological activities of two pectic polysaccharides from the fruits of Zizyphus jujuba Mill. cv. jinsixiaozao Hort. Food Res Int. 2006; 39(8): 917-923.
[11] Hung CF, Hsu BY, Chang SC, Chen BH. Antiproliferation of melanoma cells by polysaccharide isolated from Zizyphus jujuba. Nutrition. 2012; 28(1): 98-105.
[12] Cheng G, Bai Y, Zhao Y, Tao J, Liu Y, Tu G, Ma L, Liao N, Xu X. Flavonoids from Zizyphus jujuba Mill. var. spinosa. Tetrahedron. 2000; 56(45): 8915-8920.
[13] Kim YJ, Uyama H. Tyrosinase inhibitors from natural and synthetic sources: structure, inhibition mechanism and perspective for the future. Cell Mol Life Sci.2005; 62(15): 1707-1723.
[14] Solano F, Briganti S, Picardo M, Ghanem GH. Hypopigmenting agents: an updated review on biological, chemical and clinical aspects. Pigment Cell Res. 2006; 19(6): 550-571.
[15] Hajimehdipoor H, Gohari AR, Ajani Y, Saeidnia S. Comparative study of the total phenol content and antioxidant activity of some medicinal herbal extracts. Res J Pharmacogn. 2014; 1(3): 21-25.
[16] Chang CC, Yang MH, Wen HM, Chern JC. Estimation of total flavonoid content in propolis by two complementary colorimetric methods. J Food Drug Anal. 2002; 10(3): 178-182.
[17] Bahadori MB, Mirzaei M. Cytotoxicity, antioxidant activity, total flavonoid and phenolic contents of Salvia urmiensis Bunge and Salvia hydrangea DC. ex Benth. Res J Pharmacogn. 2015; 2(2): 27-32.
[18] Momtaz S, Mapunya BM, Houghton PJ, Edgerly C, Hussein A, Naidoo S, Lall N. Tyrosinase inhibition by extracts and constituents of Sideroxylon inerme L. stem bark, used in South Africa for skin lightening. J Ethnopharmacol. 2008; 119(3): 507-512.
[19] Mosmann T. Rapid colorimetric assay for cellular growth and survival: application to proliferation and cytotoxicity assays. J Immunol Methods. 1983; 65(1-2): 55-63.
[20] Chan YY, Kim KH, Cheah SH. Inhibitory effects of Sargassum polycystum on tyrosinase activity and melanin formation in B16F10 murine melanoma cells. J Ethnopharmacol. 2011; 137(3): 1183-1188.
[21] Al-Farsi MA, Lee CY. Optimization of phenolics and dietary fibre extraction from date seeds. Food Chem. 2008; 108(3): 977-985.
[22] Jenshi Roobha J, Saravanakumar M, Aravindhan KM, Suganya Devi P. The effect of light, temperature, pH on stability of anthocyanin pigments in Musa acuminata bract. Res Plant Biol. 2011; 1(5): 5-12.
[23] Sarkhail P, Sarkheil P, Khalighi-Sigaroodi F, Shafiee A, Ostad N. Tyrosinase inhibitor and radical scavenger fractions and isolated compounds from aerial parts of Peucedanum knappii Bornm. Nat Prod Res. 2013; 27(10): 896-899.
[24] Rahman K. Studies on free radicals, antioxidants, and co-factors. Clin Interv Aging. 2007; 2(2): 219-236.
[25] Sanchez-Ferrer A, Rodrıgez-Lopez JN, Garcıa-Carmona F. Tyrosinase: A comprehensive review of its mechanism. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1995; 1247(1): 1-11.