Tart Cherry (Prunus cerasus L.) Pit Extracts Protect Human Skin Cells against Oxidative Stress: Unlocking Sustainable Uses for Food Industry Byproducts
Industrial processing of tart cherries (Prunus cerasus L.) produces bioproducts like cherry pits (CP), which contribute to adverse environmental effects. To identify sustainable strategies to minimize the environmental impact of cherry processing, we investigated their potential value as antioxidants for prospective utilization within cosmeceutical applications. Untargeted metabolomic analyses of water and water: ethanol CP extracts using an eco-friendly technique revealed significant enrichment in coumaroyl derivatives and flavonoids with congruent metabolite representation regardless of the extraction solvent. The antioxidant activity of tart CP extracts was evaluated on human skin cells exposed to H2O2 or LPS, modeling environmentally induced oxidants. Notably, both CP extracts provide antioxidant activity by reducing H2O2 or LPS-induced ROS in human skin keratinocytes without affecting cell viability. The CP extracts increased the expression of CAT and SOD1 genes encoding antioxidant regulatory enzymes while decreasing the expression of NOS2, a pro-oxidant regulator. These findings reveal the antioxidant properties of tart CP, offering new opportunities to produce natural-based skin care products and adding economic value while providing sustainable options to reduce the environmental impact of food byproducts.