Date palm fruits (Phoenix dactylifera L.) were found to contain high levels of allomelanin (1.2–5.1%). The melanin is localized in the tanniferous cells between the inner and outer mesocarp tissues of the fruit. The melanin, extracted with 2 M sodium hydroxide, consisted of amorphous graphene-like granular structures of irregular shape and variable size. The date fruit melanin mainly comprises carbon (64.6%) and oxygen (30.6) but no nitrogen, and was thermally stable. It has radical scavenging (63.6–75.1 IC50, µg/mL), antimicrobial (250–1000 µg/mL), hypoglycemic (51.8–58.2%), and angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitory (65.8%) effects. The high level of melanin in date fruits highlights the importance of investigating its dietary intake and its impact on nutrition. This study also suggests that date fruit melanin can be a functional ingredient in foods, food packages, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics.
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