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Analysis of the composition of samples of red Brazilian propolis by mass spectrometry with electrospray ionization and ultra high efficiency liquid chromatography (UPLC-ESI-MS) and evaluation of the antioxidant and antimicrobial activity.

Grant number: 12/03091-4
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2012
Effective date (End): February 28, 2014
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Alexandra Christine Helena Frankland Sawaya
Grantee:Begona Gimenez-Cassina Lopez
Home Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:10/51677-2 - Development of new mass spectrometry techniques and their general applications in science: chemistry, biochemistry, material sciences, forensics, medicine, food science, pharmaceutical and veterinary medicine, AP.TEM


The word, propolis is of Greek origin: pro means in defense of and polis means community. Propolis is used by bees to strengthen the hive walls and cover the inner walls for its antimicrobial activity. The chemical composition of propolis varies depending on the biodiversity and geographic origin. Red propolis from the north and northeast of Brazil shows promising biological activity: antimicrobial, antiparasitic, antioxidant, cytotoxic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antiobesity, antipsoriasic and hepatoprotective effects. The chemical composition of red propolis reported in literature seems to vary qualitatively and quantitatively, even between samples collected in the same region. This may be due to seasonal variations, the flora directly around the hives or differences in the analytical methods. Most of the compounds already identified can be analyzed by mass spectrometry with electrospray ionization and liquid chromatography. These compounds of medium and high polarity (phenolics, flavonoids and benzophenones) are responsible for most of the biological activities reported. Ultra efficient liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS) is a modern, fast and sensitive method. It allows the characterization of the chemical profile of the samples and determines their qualitative composition, by comparison of the mass spectra (MS/MS) of the compounds with data from literature. Therefore it is the most adequate tool to evaluate the composition of complex matrixes such as propolis. The comparison of the chemical profile of diverse red propolis samples and evaluation of their antimicrobial and antioxidant activities allow us to identify the compounds responsible for these activities, indicate the marker compounds and define if there is one type, or several types, of red propolis.

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
NOVAK, ESTELA MARIA; COSTA SILVA, MARTHA SILVEIRA E; MARCUCCI, MARIA CRISTINA; HELENA FRANKLAND SAWAYA, ALEXANDRA CHRISTINE; LOPEZ, BEGONA GIMENEZ-CASSINA; HENRIQUES ZANELLA FORTES, MARIA ANGELA; GIORGI, RICARDO RODRIGUES; MARUMO, KAMILA TAMIE; RODRIGUES, ROSANGELA FELIPE; MARIA, DURVANEI AUGUSTO. Antitumoural activity of Brazilian red propolis fraction enriched with xanthochymol and formononetin: An in vitro and in vivo study. Journal of Functional Foods, v. 11, p. 91-102, NOV 2014. Web of Science Citations: 15.
LOPEZ, BEGONA GIMENEZ-CASSINA; SCHMIDT, EDUARDO MORGADO; EBERLIN, MARCOS N.; SAWAYA, ALEXANDRA C. H. F. Phytochemical markers of different types of red propolis. Food Chemistry, v. 146, p. 174-180, MAR 1 2014. Web of Science Citations: 51.

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