Our previous study revealed that aqueous extract of grape pomace obtained from a winemaking process could exert bactericidal action upon photo-irradiation via reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation. In the present study, we focused on chemical composition and prooxidative profile of the extract. Liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS) analysis showed that polyphenolic compounds including catechin monomers, dimers, trimers, and polyphenolic glucosides were contained. The polyphenol rich fraction used for the LC-ESI-MS analysis generated hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) upon photo-irradiation possibly initiated by photo-oxidation of phenolic hydroxyl group. That is, reduction of dissolved oxygen by proton-coupled electron transferred from the photo-oxidized phenolic hydroxyl group would form H2O2. The resultant H2O2 was then photolyzed to generate hydroxyl radical (•OH). The prooxidative profile of the extract in terms of •OH generation pattern upon photo-irradiation was similar to that of grape seed extract (GSE) as an authentic polyphenol product and (+)-catechin as a pure polyphenolic compound, and in all the three samples •OH generation could be retained during photo-irradiation for at least a couple of hours. The prooxidant activity of the photo-irradiated extract indicated by •OH yield was more potent than that of the photo-irradiated GSE and (+)-catechin, and this was well reflected in their bactericidal activity in which the photo-irradiated extract could kill the bacteria more efficiently than did the photo-irradiated GSE and (+)-catechin.
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