Lipofuscin-Like Substance Involved in Pericarp Browning of Postharvest Litchi Fruit During Storage

Shaoyu Yang1, 2, Linyan Feng1, En Yang1, 2, Yulong Chen1, 2, Xinhong Dong1, 2, Xinguo Su3, Yueming Jiang*, 1
1 South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou Leyiju 510650, The People’s Republic of China
2 Graduate School, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039, The People’s Republic of China
3 Food Science Institute, Guangdong Food and Drug Vocational-technical School, Guangzhou 510650, The People’s Republic of China

© 2011 Yang et al.;

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou Leyiju 510650, The People's Republic of China; Tel: +86 20 37252525; Fax: +86 20 37252960; E-mail:


Litchi (Litchi chinensis Sonn.) is a subtropical fruit of high commercial value in international trade. However, litchi fruit after harvest can rapidly lose their bright red skin color and turn brown with increasing storage time at ambient temperature. Postharvest browning of litchi fruit is mainly attributed to the degradation of anthocyanins and the oxidation of phenolics. In this study, the contents of lipofuscin-like substance in relation to the levels of anthocyanins and (–)- epicatechin, and browning index of litchi fruit during storage were investigated. In a storage period from 72 to 144 h, the relative content of lipofuscin-like substance increased by 51.1% while the contents of (–)-epicatechin and anthocyanins decreased by 41.2 and 98.1%, respectively, and the obvious accumulation of lipofuscin-like substance of pericarp tissue of litchi fruit was related to the reduced contents of anthocyanins and (–)-epicatechin. Furthermore, the increase in the content of lipofuscin-like substance was significantly related to the increased browning index. It is suggested that lipofuscinlike substance could be one of the final products from the browning reaction of litchi fruit during storage.

Keywords: litchi, browning, lipofuscin-like substance, anthocyanin, (–)-epicatechin.