Durian ( Durio zibethinus L.) fruit: A superior dietary source of natural glutathione and γ-glutamylcysteine

January 16, 2024 | Journal of Food Composition and Analysis |

A collaborative study by Chulalongkorn University and Naresuan University in Thailand investigated the potential health benefits of γ-glutamylcysteine (γ-EC) and glutathione (GSH) in combating age-related degenerative diseases. GSH, a crucial antioxidant, often faces barriers to cellular entry when taken exogenously, making its precursor γ-EC a promising alternative for restoring intracellular GSH levels. Additionally, both γ-EC and GSH contribute to kokumi taste, enhancing basic taste sensations.

Given the rising interest in naturally derived diets among health-conscious consumers, the study explored various plant sources for their GSH and γ-EC content. Among the samples, ripe durian pulp was found to have the highest concentrations of GSH (~2.6 mg/g dry weight) and γ-EC (~14 mg/g dry weight). However, the study also noted a significant reduction in these compounds in processed durian products such as chips and pastes, likely due to their heat sensitivity. This finding was supported by the observed instability of GSH and γ-EC standards under heat treatment.

The study highlights the potential of fresh durian as a rich dietary source of GSH and γ-EC, offering a natural alternative for supplementation to support antioxidant levels in the body.

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