A Spanish research team from Murcia claims that combining lemon juice with other fruit juices could help with the preservation of bioactive compounds. Lemon juice was mixed with separate concentrates of elderberry and grape juice at 5% weight/volume proportions; Various parameters were monitored during a 56-day storage period, including the bioactive composition (flavonoids and vitamin C), colour stability, and the antioxidant capacity of mixtures.
Writing in the Journal of Food Science, the Authors conclude that the anthocyanins from the grape and elderberry have a protective role on the ascorbic acid (vitamin C) content from the lemon juice. The vitamin C decreased by 50% during the first 7 days of storage and was fully degraded after day 14. However, The rate of decrease was slower (∼35%) in the new elderberry-lemon and grape-lemon mixtures, compared to a pure lemon juice. The new drink combining lemon and elderberry also performed better than the grape-lemon mixture in terms of health-promoting phytochemicals content, just as in vitro antioxidant capacity and colour characteristics.
The Authors acknowledge that their intent is to find alternative uses for lemon. Nonetheless, the results suggest that beverages made from lemon juice and berries could contribute to the development of new drinks that preserve bioactive compounds, and that also maintain an attractive colour and a high antioxidant activity for long periods of time.