Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter August 17, 2020

Influence of thermal modification and extraction techniques on yield, antioxidant capacity and phytochemical profile of chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill.) wood

  • Immacolata Faraone , Daniela Russo EMAIL logo , Maurizio D’Auria , Maria Roberta Bruno , Paola Cetera ORCID logo EMAIL logo , Luigi Todaro ORCID logo and Luigi Milella
From the journal Holzforschung


Numerous investigations on the antioxidant properties of different plant tissue extracts are available in literature, but few studies on the effect of thermally modified wood on secondary metabolites were carried out up to now. This study highlights the influence of the thermal modification of Castanea sativa Mill. wood on total content of antioxidant compounds and consequently on its antioxidant activity. In addition, a chemical profile by Gas Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry (GC–MS) of the extractives was carried out. Wood of chestnut, thermally modified at 180 °C for 3 h, was used to obtain wood meal which was subjected to different extraction techniques, as maceration extraction (ME), ultrasound assisted extraction (UAE) and accelerated solvent extraction (ASE). The total content of principal antioxidant compounds, such as polyphenols, flavonoids and tannins, as well as the evaluation of antioxidant capacity by using different in vitro assays were determined. Relative Antioxidant Capacity Index (RACI), which is used to compare all antioxidant parameters, has also been applied. The study demonstrated a positive influence on chemical compounds present in C. sativa Mill wood originating from the thermal modification process. Thus, is possible to consider thermal modification as a promising strategy to improve the antioxidant activity of chestnut wood extractives.

Corresponding authors: Paola Cetera, School of Agricultural, Forestry, Food and Environmental Sciences (SAFE), University of Basilicata; V.le dell’Ateneo Lucano 10, 85100, Potenza, Italy; and Council for Agricultural Research and Economics – Research Centre for Engineering and Agro-Food Processing (CREA-IT), Via della Pascolare, 16, Monterotondo, 00015, Rome, Italy, E-mail:; and Daniela Russo, Department of Science (DiS), University of Basilicata, V.le dell’Ateneo Lucano, 10, 85100, Potenza, Italy; and Spinoff BioActiPlant s.r.l., Università della Basilicata, V.le dell’Ateneo Lucano, 10, 85100, Potenza, Italy, E-mail:
Luigi Todaro and Luigi Milella: These authors contributed equally to this work.


Paola Cetera would like to thank her supervisor Luigi Todaro for support during all periods of her doctorate. Thanks go also to Maurizio D’Auria and Luigi Milella and their collaborators in the Department of Science, University of Basilicata. The work was performed in the framework of the Ph.D. program in “Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences” at the University of Basilicata, South Italy.

  1. Author contribution: I.F, D.R., M.R.B., P.C. performed the research, analyzed the data, and wrote the paper; M.D., L.M., L.T. conceived, designed the research and provided the materials. The authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.

  2. Research funding: This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

  3. Conflict of interest statement: The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.


Ahajji, A., Diouf, P.N., Aloui, F., Elbakali, I., Perrin, D., Merlin, A., and George, B. (2009). Influence of heat treatment on antioxidant properties and colour stability of beech and spruce wood and their extractives. Wood Sci. Technol. 43: 1–2, in Google Scholar

Aspé, E. and Fernández, K. (2011). The effect of different extraction techniques on extraction yield, total phenolic, and anti-radical capacity of extracts from Pinus radiata bark. Ind. Crop. Prod. 34: 838–844, in Google Scholar

Bajraktari, A., Nunes, L., Knapic, S., Pimenta, R., Pinto, T., Duarte, S., Miranda, I., and Pereira, H. (2018). Chemical characterization, hardness and termite resistance of Quercus cerris heartwood from Kosovo. Maderas Cienc. Tecnol. 20: 305–314, in Google Scholar

Barreira, J.C., Ferreira, I.C., Oliveira, M.B.P., and Pereira, J.A. (2008). Antioxidant activities of the extracts from chestnut flower, leaf, skins and fruit. Food Chem. 107: 1106–1113, in Google Scholar

Benzie, I.F. and Strain, J.J. (1999). Ferric reducing/antioxidant power assay: direct measure of total antioxidant activity of biological fluids and modified version for simultaneous measurement of total antioxidant power and ascorbic acid concentration. In: Methods in enzymology, Elsevier, Netherlands, pp. 15–27,–5.10.1016/S0076-6879(99)99005-5Search in Google Scholar

Bounous, G., Bouchet, M. and Gourdon, L. (1992). Ricostituzione del castagneto a frutto tradizionale: interventi in Piemonte e nel Sud della Francia. Inf. Agrar. 9: 155–160.Search in Google Scholar

Bruno, M.R., Russo, D., Cetera, P., Faraone, I., Todaro, L., Sinisgalli, C., and Lo Giudice, V. (2020). Chemical analysis and antioxidant properties of orange tree (Citrus sinensis L.) biomass extracts obtained via different extraction techniques. Biofuel Bioprod. Bioref 14: 509–520, in Google Scholar

Canas, S., Casanova, V., and Belchior, A.P. (2008). Antioxidant activity and phenolic content of Portuguese wine aged brandies. J. Food Compos. Anal. 21: 626–633, in Google Scholar

Cetera, P., D’Auria, M., Mecca, M., and Todaro, L. (2019a). Gallic acid as main product in the water extractives of Quercus frainetto Ten. Nat. Prod. Res. 33: 2864–2867, in Google Scholar

Cetera, P., Russo, D., Milella, L., and Todaro, L. (2019b). Thermo-treatment affects Quercus cerris L. wood properties and the antioxidant activity and chemical composition of its by-product extracts. Ind. Crop. Prod. 130: 380–388, in Google Scholar

Conedera, M. and Krebs, P. (2007). History, present situation and perspective of chestnut cultivation in Europe. In: II Iberian congress on chestnut, Vila Real, Portugal, pp. 23–28.10.17660/ActaHortic.2008.784.1Search in Google Scholar

Conedera, M., Stanga, P., Oester, B., and Bachmann, P. (2001). Different post-culture dynamics in abandoned chestnut orchards and coppices. For. Snow Landsc. Res. 76: 487–492.Search in Google Scholar

Dai, J. and Mumper, R.J. (2010). Plant phenolics: extraction, analysis and their antioxidant and anticancer properties. Molecules 15: 7313–7352, in Google Scholar

Duh, P.D (1998). Antioxidant activity of burdock (Arctium lappa L.): its scavenging effect on free-radical and active oxygen. J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc. 75: 455–461, in Google Scholar

Esteves, B., Graca, J., and Pereira, H. (2008). Extract composition and summative chemical analysis of thermally modified eucalypt wood. Holzforschung 62: 344–351, in Google Scholar

Fidelis, Q.C., Faraone, I., Russo, D., Aragão Catunda, F.EJr, Vignola, L., de Carvalho, M.G., de Tommasi, N., and Milella, L. (2018). Chemical and biological insights of Ouratea hexasperma (A. St.-Hil.) Baill.: a source of bioactive compounds with multifunctional properties. Nat. Prod. Res. 33: 1500–1503, in Google Scholar

Finnemore, H. (1908). The constituents of Canadian hemp. Part I. Apocynin. J. Chem. Soc. Trans. 93: 1513–1519, in Google Scholar

Fonti, P., Macchioni, N., and Thibaut, B. (2002). Ring shake in chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill.): state of the art. Ann. For. Sci. 59: 129–140, in Google Scholar

Frankel, E.N. and Meyer, A.S. (2000). The problems of using one-dimensional methods to evaluate multifunctional food and biological antioxidants. J. Sci. Food Agric. 80: 1925–1941,;2-4.10.1002/1097-0010(200010)80:13<1925::AID-JSFA714>3.0.CO;2-4Search in Google Scholar

Gaugler, M. and Grigsby, W.J. (2009). Thermal degradation of condensed tannins from radiata pine bark. J. Wood Chem. Technol. 29: 305–321, in Google Scholar

Gullón, B., Eibes, G., Dávila, I., Moreira, M.T., Labidi, J., and Gullón, P. (2018). Hydrothermal modification of chestnut shells (Castanea sativa) to produce oligosaccharides and antioxidant compounds. Carbohydr. Polym. 192: 75–83, in Google Scholar

Krisper, P., Tišler, V., Skubic, V., Rupnik, I., and Kobal, S. (1992). The use of tannin from chestnut (Castanea vesca). Basic life sciences. In: Plant polyphenols. Boston, Springer, pp. 1013–1019.10.1007/978-1-4615-3476-1_62Search in Google Scholar

Lovaglio, T., D’Auria, M., Rita, A., and Todaro, L. (2017). Compositions of compounds extracted from thermo-modifiedwood using solvents of different polarities. iForest 10: 824, in Google Scholar

Luís, Â., Gil, N., Amaral, M.E., Domingues, F., and Duarte, A.P.C. (2012). Ailanthus altissima (Miller) Swingle: a source of bioactive compounds with antioxidant activity. BioResources 7: 2105–2120.10.15376/biores.7.2.2105-2120Search in Google Scholar

Mezrag, A., Malafronte, N., Bouheroum, M., Travaglino, C., Russo, D., Milella, L., and Dal Piaz, F. (2017). Phytochemical and antioxidant activity studies on Ononis angustissima L. aerial parts: isolation of two new flavonoids. Nat. Prod. Res. 31: 507–514, in Google Scholar

Nishimura, K., Ohnishi, M., Masuda, M., Koga, K., and Matsuyama, R. (1983). Reactions of wood components during maturation. In: Flavour of distilled beverages: origin and development. Verlag Chemie International, Germany.Search in Google Scholar

Pinelo, M., Rubilar, M., Jerez, M., Sineiro, J., and Núñez, M.J. (2005). Effect of solvent, temperature, and solvent-to-solid ratio on the total phenolic content and antiradical activity of extracts from different components of grape pomace. J. Agric. Food Chem. 53: 2111–2117, in Google Scholar

Pinelo, M., Rubilar, M., Sineiro, J., and Nunez, M.J. (2004). Extraction of antioxidant phenolics from almond hulls (Prunus amygdalus) and pine sawdust (Pinus pinaster). Food Chem. 85: 267–273, in Google Scholar

Praciak, A. (2013). The CABI encyclopedia of forest trees. Wallingford, UK: CABI Press.Search in Google Scholar

Puech, J.L., Sarni, F., Labidi, A., Mouttet, B., and Robert, A. (1990). Delignification of oak wood with an ethanol-water solution in a flow-through reactor. Holzforschung 44: 367–371, in Google Scholar

Ribeiro, B., Rangel, J., Valentao, P., Andrade, P.B., Pereira, J.A., Bölke, H., and Seabra, R.M. (2007). Organic acids in two Portuguese chestnut (Castanea sativa Miller) varieties. Food Chem. 100: 504–508, in Google Scholar

Shah, P. and Modi, H.A. (2015). Comparative Study of DPPH, ABTS and FRAP Assays for determination of antioxidant activity. Int. J. Res. Appl. Sci. Eng. Technol. 3:636–641.Search in Google Scholar

Todaro, L., Russo, D., Cetera, P., and Milella, L. (2017). Effects of thermo-vacuum treatment on secondary metabolite content and antioxidant activity of poplar (Populus nigra L.) wood extracts. Ind. Crop. Prod. 109: 384–390, in Google Scholar

Vassallo, J.D., Hicks, S.M., Daston, G.P., and Lehman-McKeeman, L.D. (2004). Metabolic detoxification determines species differences in coumarin-induced hepatotoxicity. Toxicol. Sci. 80: 249–257, in Google Scholar

Vázquez, G., Fontenla, E., Santos, J., Freire, M.S., González-Álvarez, J., and Antorrena, G. (2008). Antioxidant activity and phenolic content of chestnut (Castanea sativa) shell and eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) bark extracts. Ind. Crop. Prod. 28: 279–285, in Google Scholar

Viriot, C., Scalbert, A., Lapierre, C., and Moutounet, M. (1993). Ellagitannins and lignins in aging of spirits in oak barrels. J. Agric. Food Chem. 41: 1872–1879, in Google Scholar

Willför, S.M., Ahotupa, M.O., Hemming, J.E., Reunanen, M.H., Eklund, P.C., Sjöholm, R.E., Eckerman, C.S.E., Pohjamo, S.P., and Holmbom, B.R. (2003). Antioxidant activity of knotwood extractives and phenolic compounds of selected tree species. J. Agric. Food Chem. 51: 7600–7606, in Google Scholar

You, Y., Duan, X., Wei, X., Su, X., Zhao, M., Sun, J., Ruenroengklin, N., and Jiang, Y. (2007). Identification of major phenolic compounds of Chinese water chestnut and their antioxidant activity. Molecules 12: 842–852, in Google Scholar

Received: 2020-02-03
Accepted: 2020-07-01
Published Online: 2020-08-17
Published in Print: 2021-03-26

© 2020 Daniela Russo et al.,published by de Gruyter

Downloaded on 3.12.2023 from
Scroll to top button