Researcher, PhD student Trivedi Priyanka

30000 €

To study bioactivity of waxes from wild berry species (Vaccinium sp) and finalize doctoral dissertation on ”Composition, bioactivity and effect of environmental factors on cuticular wax of bilberry”

Tieteellinen tutkimus / siihen pohjautuva työ | Yksivuotinen

Wild berries are one of the most important natural resource found in Finnish forests. Currently, only 3% of the wax used in industrial production is originated from living plants while 97% is derived from fossil based source such as oil. Fruit cuticular waxes present a potential source of bioactive wax which can be recovered from fruit waste of industries. In scandinavia, berries are an interesting candidate for wax production. Out of the total 50 species of wild berries found, 37 are edible. Berry press cakes, industrial leftovers of bilberry and lingonberry juice industry can be utilized to extract bioactive wax. We have extracted wax from berry press cakes of bilberry and lingonberry press cakes and studied its composition. Based on composition of wax and our preliminary study, berry wax should show potential antimicrobial, antioxidant and UV blocking activity and cytotoxicity due to the presence of bioactive compounds in wax. Therefore the aim of this funding was to study the bioactivity of bilberry cuticular wax. Methods: Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) and lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.) press cakes were used to extract wax using SFE. Antimicrobial activity will be studied using antimicrobial disc diffusion assay and MIC (minimum inhibitory concentration) will be determined. Antioxidant activity will be studied using DPPH assay, Folin & Ciocalteu assay and ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) assay. UV-A and UV-B blocking activity of the waxes will be studied using spectrophotometer-based in vitro assay and substrate (Transpore tape) based assay. Cytotoxicity will be studied using IncuCyte® Cytotoxicity assay using fibroblasts and melanoma cell lines.