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Peach

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The peach tree scientifically named as Prunus persica is a species of Prunus. It is native to China that bears an edible juicy fruit called a peach. It is a deciduous tree growing to 4–10 m tall, belonging to the subfamily Prunoideae of the family Rosaceae. The leaves are lanceolate, 7–16 cm long, 2–3 cm broad. The flowers are produced in early spring before the leaves; they are solitary or paired. The single, large seed is red-brown, oval shaped, approximately 1.3–2 cm long, and is surrounded by a wood-like husk. Peaches, along with cherries, plums and apricots, are stone fruits.
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Botanical Names
Prunus persica
Indian Names
Hindi : Aahroo, Aadu Marathi : Peach Bengali : Peach Phal Kannada : Mera sebu
Chemical Constituents
Peach contains carbohydrates, protein, dietary fiber and sugars. Peach is a rich source of vitamins as vitamin A, vitamin B (riboflavin, niacin), and vitamin C. It also provides minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, and potassium (1). Peach fruits contain 54•5% oil and 27•5% protein but ash and total carbohydrates are quite low. Total lipids contained 98% triglycerides; sterols and polar lipids constituted 0•41% and 1•1% respectively. Fatty acid composition revealed the presence of oleic (63•8%) and linoleic (15•4%); there was 20•7% of saturated fatty acids. All essential, as well as non-essential, amino acids are also present, with tryptophan and methionine presenting the lowest mean concentrations in peaches. The mono-unsaturated oleic acid predominated in the oil, ranging from 42.8 to 60.8%, and palmitic acid was the most abundant saturated fatty acid, ranging from 24.1 to 42.3%. Among the essential fatty acids, linoleic acid was the most abundant, with a maximum of 5.4%. The most important mineral elements present in peach are potassium, selenium and chromium, respectively corresponding to 12%, 9% and 9% of daily recommended allowances (2).
Pesticide Limits
A limit for pesticide is one of the major issues in standardization of medicinal plants and products in view of the worldwide widespread use of pesticides in cultivated plants. The presence of pesticides in extracts increase the health risk by many folds. The pesticides can be extremely irritant on skin as well as in the internal organs, it is essential to monitor its concentration as a part of GMP. Various analytical methods for the quantitative determination of pesticides by gas chromatography coupled with mass-spectrophotometer are in use. Konark Research Foundation (KRF), a NABL certified lab is well equipped with the latest technology and instruments and monitors the pesticide limit as part of its GMP.
Chromatographic Profile
From the pharmacopoeial perspective, a better quality control of raw material can be achieved by specifying quantitative test procedure for the determination of the range or a minimum content of the active ingredient or marker substances. A chromatographic finger profile represents qualitative/ quantitative determination of various components present in a complex plant extract, irrespective whether or not their exact identity is known. Thin layer chromatographic technique is the simplest and least expensive method that provides plenty of information on the composition of raw herbs and its preparation. For quantitative analysis of active ingredients or marker substances with simultaneous separation and detection High Pressure liquid chromatography is the best technique. We use the latest model of HPLC for all its analysis.
Limits of Impurities
A test requirement for foreign organic matter would ensure the extent of contamination of extraneous matters such as filth and other parts of botanicals not covered by the definition of the herbal drug. Since sand and soil are predictable contaminants of botanicals, test requirements for ‘total ash’, water soluble ash’, ‘acid soluble ash’, residue on ignition and sulphated ash would be expected to limit such contaminants. Test requirement for heavy metals in botanical raw material are probably more relevant for parts of plants growing under ground than for the aerial parts of the plant. The presence of high levels of minerals interacts with the final product there by affecting its keeping quality.
Microbial Limits
If the raw herbs are to be used directly without boiling in water prior to consumption, restrictive limits on microbial contaminants are required for pathogens such as Salmonella sp. Enterobacter and E. coli which are causative agent for various gastrointestinal diseases. A lower level of yeasts and molds and a limit on total aerobes are considered appropriate in plant material for topical use. The presence of aflatoxins detected by chemical means is generally independent of the number of viable molds that are detected using microbiological methods. Aflatoxins in microgram quantity are capable of giving serious hypersensitivity reactions which can be extremely harmful to human health.
Pharmacology
Peach is very nutritious fruit and along with providing nutrition it is useful in the treatment of many health disorders. Peach contains antioxidants and phenolic components which imparts it many beneficial properties. Peach acts as anticancer, laxative, antimicrobial, and mild diuretic (3). It is also effective against constipation, dry cough, gastritis and high blood pressure. Peach also lowers the high levels of cholesterol. Peach contains mixture of phenolics that possess anticancer activity. Peach phenolics may have potential in therapy and chemoprevention of metastatic breast cancer (4). Specifically chlorogenic and neo-chlorogenic acids, widely distributed among peach plants, may be a useful therapeutic tool for targeting multiple cell signaling pathways in the treatment and chemoprevention of metastatic breast cancer (5). The high contents of dietary fiber, polyphenols and phenolic acids, TRAP values, hypolipidemic and antioxidant properties of peach makes this fruit preferable for dietary prevention of cardiovascular and other diseases. Peach leaves also possess some medicinal properties such as it is a valuable in gastritis to control the vomiting and extreme irritability of the stomach. It is also used to treat irritation of the throat and for bronchial mucous membranes. The infusion is useful in chronic diarrhea and dysentery, in chronic hepatitis, in chronic bronchitis, and in dyspepsia (6) .
Health Benefits
Consumption of peaches helps in the removal of worms from the intestinal tract. Being rich in Vitamin A and good source of antioxidants peaches help to prevent cancer in organs and glands with epithelial tissue. Peaches comprise of more than 80 percent water and are a good source of dietary fiber. Consumption of peaches, on a regular basis, can keep the bowel movements regular and even prevent straining. Peach have good antioxidant activity, some antimicrobial activity and good tumor growth inhibition activity. Peaches have a small laxative effect and diuretic effect thus, are recommended to people suffering from rheumatism and gout. Peach flowers have sedative proprieties and are good for children who are restless. Peaches have been found to be beneficial for individuals suffering from the health problems such as Acidosis, Anemia, Asthma, Bladder Kidney Stones, Bronchitis, Constipation, Dry cough, Gastritis, High Blood Pressure, Nephritis, and Poor Digestion (7).
Application in Cosmetics
Peach is a nutritious fruit packed with number of nutrients and other bioactive compounds as antioxidants and phenols. It is not only beneficial for health but also very useful for skin nourishment. Peaches are a rich source of antioxidants like Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Peach fruit is a natural emollient. Peach not only softens the skin, but is also responsible for hydrating the skin along with imparting the skin a rich glow. Therefore, the antioxidant and minearl-rich peach is used for topical treatments of problem skin. Peach enhance skin’s natural radiance, soften the skin, giving a radiant glow. Peaches are a natural source of AHAs that boosts the skin’s natural resilience against wrinkles, dryness and sun damage. It moisturizes the skin and also hydrates it fully. Peach softens the skin and since it is a natural product, it is much better than over the counter skin care products. It also imparts a rich glow to the skin. Peach is rich in minerals and it has all the necessary anti oxidants as well. It can be used for all problems of the skin and for all types of topical treatments. Peach tree leaves can also be used externally for skin problems. It has beneficial properties for the skin. The tender leaves of peach tree can be used for external care of skin eliminating spots, pimples, face blemishes, pustules and other skin problems.
Research References
1. Robert J. H. and Chapman G. W. Comparison of volatile compounds from peach fruit and leaves (cv. Monroe) during maturation J. Agric. Food Chem., 1990. 38(7):1442–1444 2. Hanna L., Shela G., Antonin L., Maria L., Milan C., Robert Soliva-F., Yong-S., Soon-T. J., Simon T., and Olga M. B. Comparative content of some bioactive compounds in apples, peaches and pears and their influence on lipids and antioxidant capacity in rats Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry (2002). 13: 603–610 3. Giuliana N., Weston P., David B., and Luis Cisneros-Z. Identifying Peach and Plum Polyphenols with Chemopreventive Potential against Estrogen-Independent Breast Cancer Cells J. Agric. Food Chem., 2009, 57 (12): 5219–5226 4. Bolívar A. Cevallos-C., David B., William R. O., and Luis Cisneros-Z. Selecting new peach and plum genotypes rich in phenolic compounds and enhanced functional properties Food Chemistry 2006. 96 (2): 273-280 5. Noratto D., Giuliana D.Anticancer activity of peach and plum extracts against human breast cancer in vitro and in vivo. Texas A&M University, 2008. 119:3333744 6. Anwar H. G., Nauman A., Sadia M. A., and Saeed M. Pharmacological basis for the use of peach leaves in constipation. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2000. 73(1-2): 87-93 7. Naohiro K., Hiromi M., and Kazuo S. Differences in Phenolic Levels among Mature Peach and Nectarine Cultivar and their relation to Astringency. J. Japan. Soc. Hort. Sci 2000. 69(1):35-39. VARIOUS PRODUCTS
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