Organic wastes of Citrus sinensis Peels- a source of eco-friendly and sustainable bioactive compounds for promoting health

Michael O. Olaitan

Department of Biochemistry, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria.

Cosmas O. Ujowundu *

Department of Biochemistry, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria.

Chiamaka P. Nzebude

Department of Biochemistry, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria.

Favour N. Ujowundu

Department of Biochemistry, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria.

Albert O. Ugwu

Department of Biochemistry, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria.

Favour C. Azuoma

Department of Biochemistry, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria.

George C. Nwokocha

Protein Core Facility Corteva Agriscience, Johnston, 50131 Iowa, USA.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


To determine the phytochemicals, radical scavenging and antioxidant potential of orange peel extract. Citrus sinensis were subjected to extraction with ethanol. Gas chromatography (GC) was utilized to determine the phytochemical composition of orange peel extract. Hydrogen peroxide, superoxide, nitric oxide, and hydroxyl radical scavenging assays were conducted to assess radical scavenging potential of the extract. Antioxidant activities of the peel extracts were determined via the 2,2-diphenylpicrylhydrazyl (DPPH) free radical scavenging activity, ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assay, ABTS scavenging, and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) assay. The GC-FID analysis revealed the presence of alkaloids, flavonoids, polyphenols, tannins, sapogenin, and steroids in the orange peel extract. The results of radical scavenging assays demonstrated the extract’s ability to scavenge hydrogen peroxide, superoxide, nitric oxide and hydroxyl radicals. The scavenging capacity of the extract was observed to be concentration-dependent, with comparisons made to standard antioxidants ascorbic acid and BHT. Peels from citrus sinensis represent a valuable source of phytochemicals, demonstrating significant antioxidant and radical scavenging activities.

Keywords: Antioxidant, chemopreventive, phytochemicals, radical scavenging, organic waste

How to Cite

Olaitan, Michael O., Cosmas O. Ujowundu, Chiamaka P. Nzebude, Favour N. Ujowundu, Albert O. Ugwu, Favour C. Azuoma, and George C. Nwokocha. 2024. “Organic Wastes of Citrus Sinensis Peels- a Source of Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Bioactive Compounds for Promoting Health”. Asian Journal of Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 16 (2):21-31.


Download data is not yet available.


Deeksha P, Deeksha S, Mohit P, Siddharta D. Phytochemical composition and in vitro antioxidant activities of the genus citrus peel extracts: A systematic review. University Institute of Biotechnology, Chandigah University, India.2020;2(9):953-954.

Wedamulla NE, Fan M, Choi YJ, Kim EK. Citrus peel as a renewable bioresource: Transforming waste to food additives, Journal of Functional Foods. 2022;95:105163.

Rafiq S, Kaul R, Sofi SA, Bashir N, Nazir F, Nayik GA. Citrus peel as a source of functional ingredient: A review. J Saudi Soc Agric Sci. 2018;17(4):351-358.

Liew SS, Ho WY, Yeap SK, Sharifudin SAB. Phytochemical composition and in vitro antioxidant activities of Citrus sinensis peel extracts. PeerJ. 2018;6:e5331.

Favela-Hernández JM, González-Santiago O, Ramírez-Cabrera MA, Esquivel-Ferriño PC, Camacho-Corona Mdel R. Chemistry and pharmacology of citrus sinensis. Molecules. 2016;21(2):247.

Sikdar DC, Rohan M, Karan D, Piyush K, Priksha S. Extraction of citrus oil from orange peels by steam distillation and its characterizations. Int J Tech Res Appl. 2016;4(3):341-346.

Sharma K, Mahato N, Cho MH, Lee YR. Converting citrus wastes into value-added products: Economic and environmently friendly approaches. Nutrition. 2017;34:29-46.

Khorasanian AS, Fateh ST, Gholami F, Rasaei N, Gerami H, Khayyatzadeh SS, Shiraseb F, Asbaghi O. The effects of hesperidin supplementation on cardiovascular risk factors in adults: A systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis. Front Nutr. 2023;10:1177708.

Fontana G. The orange peel: An outstanding source of chemical resources. Intech Open. 2021;3:58.

Ujowundu CO, Ogbonna CU, Okwu GN, Alisi CS. Free radicals scavenging and neuroprotective effects of ethanolic leaf extract of combretum zenkeri Leaf. Annu Res Rev Biol. 2015;6(2):133 – 141.

Ujowundu CO, Onyema CR, Nwachukwu N, Ujowundu FN, Onwuliri VA, Igwe KO, Achilike JJ, Udensi JU. Antioxidative effect of phenolic extract of vitex donianaleaves on alloxan-induced diabetic stress and histological changes in the pancreas of wistar rat. Trop J Nat Prod Res. 2022;6(2):270-275.

UjowunduFN, Ujowundu CO, Ibeh CR, Iweala EJ, Onuoha CH, Iheme CI, Chukwudoruo SC, Kalu JO, Okorondu MM, Haruna MA. Amelioration of CCl4 –induced nephrotoxicity in rat by flavonoid, alkaloids, saponin, and tannins extracted from combretum dolichopentalum. International Journal of Modern Pharmaceutical Research. 2022b;6(3):01-11.

Ujowundu CO, Okafor OE, Agha NC, Nwaogu LA, Igwe KO, Igwe CU. Phytochemical and chemical composition of combretum zenkeri leaves. Journal of Medicinal Plants Res. 2010;4(10):965-968.

Nwaoguikpe RN, Ujowundu CO, Wesley B. Phytochemical and biochemical compositions of African Walnut (Tetracarpidiumconophorum). JPBMS-Biochemistry and microbiology. 2012;20(09):1-5.

Ujowundu FN, Oparaeche NN, Odeghe OB, Nduka FO, Ujowundu CO. Ameliorative effect of combretum dolichopentalum in CCl4- induced oxidative stress. World Journal of Advanced Research and Reviews. 2019;1(1):09-22.

Ruch RJ, Cheng SJ, Klaunig JE. Prevention of cytotoxicity and inhibition of intracellular communication by antioxidant catechins isolated from Chinese green tea. Carcinogenesis. 1989;10:1003–1008.

Winterbourn CC, Hawkins RE, Brian M, Carrell RW. The estimation of red cell superoxide dismutase activity. The Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine. 1975;85(2):337–341.

Green LC, Wagner DA, Glogowski J, Skipper PL, Wishnok JS, Tannenbaum SR. Analysis of nitrate, nitrite, and [15N] nitrate in biological fluids. Analytical Biochemistry. 1982;126(1):131–138.

Elizabeth K, Rao, MNA. Oxygen radical scavenging activity of curcumin. International Journal of Pharmaceutics. 1990;58:237–240.

Mensor LL, Menezes FS, Leitão GG, Reis AS, dos Santos TC, Coube CS, Leitão SG. Screening of Brazilian plant extracts for antioxidant activity by the use of DPPH free radical method. Phytotherapy Research: PTR. 2001;15(2):127– 130.

Pulido R, Bravo L, Saura-Calixto F. Antioxidant activity of dietary polyphenols as determined by a modified ferric reducing/antioxidant power assay. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2000;48(8):3396–3402.

Jayaprakasha GK, Jena BS, Negi PS, Sakariah KK. Evaluation of antioxidant activities and antimutagenicity of turmeric oil: A byproduct from curcumin production. Zeitschrift fur Naturforschung. C. Journal of Biosciences. 2002;57(9-10):828–835.

Dey P, Kundu A, Kumar A, Gupta M, Lee BM, Bhakta T, Dash S, Kim HS. Analysis of alkaloids (indole alkaloids, isoquinoline alkaloids, tropane alkaloids). Recent Advances in Natural Products Analysis. 2020;505–567.

Heinrich M, Mah J, Amirkia V. Alkaloids Used as Medicines: Structural phytochemistry meets biodiversity-an update and forward look. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland). 2021;26(7):1836.

Bhambhani S, Kondhare KR, Giri AP. Diversity in chemical structures and biological properties of plant alkaloids. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland). 2021;26(11):3374.

Ullah A, Munir S, Badshah SL, Khan N, Ghani L, Poulson BG, Emwas A-H, Jaremko M. Important flavonoids and their role as a therapeutic agent. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland). 2020;25(22):5243.

Lipinski B. Hydroxyl radical and its scavengers in health and disease. Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity. 2011;809696.

Abeysinghe DT, Kumara KAH, Kaushalya KAD, Chandrika UG, Alwis DDDH. Phytochemical screening, total polyphenol, flavonoid content, in vitro antioxidant and antibacterial activities of Sri Lankan varieties of Murrayakoenigii and Micromelumminutum leaves. Heliyon 2021;7(7):e07449.

Marcińczyk N, Gromotowicz-Popławska A, Tomczyk M, Chabielska E. Tannins as homeostasis modulators. Frontiers in Pharmacology. 2022;12:806891.

Cory H, Passarelli S, Szeto J, Tamez M, Mattei J. The role of polyphenols in human health and food systems: A Mini-Review. Frontiers in nutrition. 2018;5:87.

García-Aguilar A, Palomino O, Benito M, Guillén C. Dietary polyphenols in metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases: Molecular targets in autophagy and biological effects. Antioxidants. 2021;10(2):142.

Onyema CR, Ujowundu CO, Ujowundu FN, Onwuliri VA, Alisa CO, Ezim OE, Ibeh RC, Asiwe ES, Onyeocha IO, Achilike JJ, et al. Assessment of hepatoprotective and antidyslipidemic activities of phenolic leaf extract of vitex doniana on alloxan-induced diabetic rats. International Journal of Chemical and Biochemical Sciences. 2023;24(4):25-37.

Agrawal MY, Agrawal YP, Arora, SK, Lahange P, Kshirsagar N. Phytochemical screening and evaluation of antioxidant activity of hydroalcoholic extract of Justicia procumbans leaf. Journal of Ayurvedic and Herbal Medicine. 2021;7(1):41-45.

Sharma SK, Singh AP. In Vitro Antioxidant and free radical scavenging activity of nardostachysjatamansi DC. Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies. 2012;5(3):112-118.

Lee JW, Kim IH, Woyengo TA. Toxicity of canola-derived glucosinolate degradation products in pigs-A Review. Animals: An Open Access Journal from MDPI. 2020;10(12):2337.

Rauf A, Imran M, Abu-Izneid T, Iahtisham-Ul-Haq Patel S, Pan X, Naz S, Silva AS, Saeed F, Rasul Suleria, HA. Proanthocyanidins: A comprehensive review. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy. 2019;116:108999.

Ujowundu CO, Ujowundu FN, Onwuliri VA, Ezim OE, Ibeh RC, AsiweES, Onyeocha IO, Achilike JJ, Amaralam EE, Ugwu CM, et al. In vitro assessment of free radical scavenging and antioxidant capacity of ethanol extract of ageratum conyzoides Leaves. International Journal of Chemical and Biochemical Sciences. 2023;23(3): 174-188.

Venkatachalam U, Muthukrishnan S. Free radical scavenging activity of ethanolic extract of Desmodium gangeticum, Journal of Acute Medicine. 2012;2(2):36.

Khoo HE, Azlan A, Tang S, Lim SM. Anthocyanidins and anthocyanins: colored pigments as food, pharmaceutical ingredients, and the potential health benefits. Food and Nutrition Research. 2017;61(1):1361779.

Fan FY, Sang LX, Jiang M. Catechins and their therapeutic benefits to inflammatory bowel disease. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland). 2017;22(3):484.

Musial C, Kuban-Jankowska A, Gorska-Ponikowska M. Beneficial properties of green tea catechins. International Journal of Molecular Science. 2020;21(5):1744.

Madureira MB, Concato VM, Cruz EMS, Bitencourt de Morais JM, Inoue FSR, Concimo Santos N, Gonçalves MD, Cremer de Souza M, Basso Scandolara T, Fontana Mezon M, et al. Naringenin and hesperidin as promising alternatives for prevention and co-adjuvant therapy for breast cancer. Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland). 2023;12(3):586.

Zuiter AS. Proanthocyanidin: chemistry and biology: From phenolic compounds to proanthocyanidins. In Reedijk J. (Ed.) Reference module in chemistry, molecular sciences and chemical engineering. Waltham, MA: Elsevier Inc. 2014;1–29.