Characterization and analysis of the antioxidant capacity of functional phenolics oxidized by Scytalidium thermophilum catalase phenol oxidase (CATPO)

Thesis Type: Doctorate

Institution Of The Thesis: Middle East Technical University, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Food Engineering, Turkey

Approval Date: 2012

Thesis Language: English


Principal Supervisor (For Co-Supervisor Theses): Zümrüt Ögel

Co-Supervisor: İlkay Şensoy


Scytalidium thermophilum is a termophilic fungus that effectively produces the extracellular enzyme catalase phenol oxidase (CATPO). The enzyme is distinct among catalases with its bifunctionality of oxidising phenolic compounds in the absence of H2O2. CATPO is capable of oxidizing catechol, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid and catechin which are ortho –diphenolic compounds. Diphenolic compounds are known as strong antioxidants. Catalase is one of the important antioxidant enzymes. Therefore, in this thesis the effect of CATPO on the final antioxidant capacity of the oxidized products was analysed. Antioxidant capacity measurements of oxidized and unreacted phenolic compounds were done using the two widely used methods TEAC and FRAP. CATPO oxidized catechol showed 2.4 fold increase when compared to its nonoxidized form, which was highest among others. Catechol was followed by caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, and catechin. This finding is new to the literature and may be of importance to the antioxidant mechanism of organisms. Results have also shown that the most well known phenol oxidases, laccase and tyrosinase, do not result in such high increases in antioxidant capacity upon oxidation of the substrates tested. Due to this finding, as a possible means of applying CATPO to increase the antioxidant capacity of products daily consumed, tea was selected. Tea is the second most consumed beverage after water and it is known to possess high amounts of flavanols. Green tea is rich in catechins whereas black tea is a rich source of theaflavins and thearubigins. Fermentation is a critical process for production of good quality tea and is the key step differing between green and black tea production. During this process phenol oxidases catalyze the oxidation of polyphenolic compounds present in tea leaves to their corresponding o-quinones. Utilization of CATPO in tea samples resulted in an increase in antioxidant capacity and its effect was enhanced by an increase in brewing time. Interestingly, the addition of sugar decreased antioxidant capacity. Laccase and tyrosinase were ineffective in increasing the antioxidant capacity of tea samples.