• Ramya Vijayakumar Institut Penyelidikan Produk Halal, University Putra Malaysia, Putra Infoport, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
  • Siti Salwa Abd Gani Lapsah, IPPH, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Putra Infoport, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia.
  • Nor Fadzillah Mohd Mokhtar Lapsah, IPPH, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Putra Infoport, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia.



 Objective: To investigate the in vitro anti-elastase, anti-collagenase, and antimicrobial activities of the red pitaya peel extract for cosmetic application focusing on skin aging.

Methods: Extraction was performed by the reflux method for 103 minutes at 56°C with 82% aqueous ethanol solution and the red pitaya peel extract was evaporated using a rotary evaporator. Anti-elastase and anti-collagenase properties were evaluated using the drug discovery kits (neutrophil elastase colorimetric and matrix metalloproteinase-1 colorimetric, respectively). The antimicrobial potential was analyzed using agar well diffusion method against 10 selected microorganisms, and the presence or absence of the inhibition zones was identified.

Results: The red pitaya peel extract exhibited remarkable inhibition percentage 87.62±0.05% and 96.92±0.02% for anti-elastase and anti-collagenase activities, respectively. Red pitaya peel extract showed significant inhibition against the Gram-positive Bacillus subtilis B29 with an inhibition zone diameter of 8.0±0.3 mm.

Conclusion: The excellent anti-aging properties displayed by the underutilized red pitaya peel extract highlighted its potential as a natural source of anti-aging agent for cosmetic formulations.

Keywords: Skin aging, Anti-elastase, Anti-collagenase, Antimicrobial, Red pitaya peel.


1. Oikarinen A. Connective tissue and ageing. Int J Cosmet Sci 2004;26:107-8.
2. Masuda M, Murata K, Naruto S, Uwaya A, Isami F, Matsuda H. Matrix metalloproteinase-1 inhibitory activities of Morinda citrifolia seed extract and its constituents in UVA-irradiated human dermal fibroblasts. Biol Pharm Bull 2012;35(2):210-5.
3. Kim SH, Turnbull J, Guimond S. Extracellular matrix and cell signalling: The dynamic cooperation of integrin, proteoglycan and growth factor receptor. J Endocrinol 2011;209(2):139-51.
4. Yang HS, La WG, Bhang SH, Lee TJ, Lee M, Kim BS. Apatite-coated collagen scaffold for bone morphogenetic protein-2 delivery. Tissue Eng Part A 2011;17(17-18):2153-64.
5. Thring TS, Hili P, Naughton DP. Anti-collagenase, anti-elastase and anti-oxidant activities of extracts from 21 plants. BMC Complement Altern Med 2009;9:27.
6. Laga AC, Murphy GF. The translational basis of human cutaneous photoaging: On models, methods, and meaning. Am J Pathol 2009;174(2):357-60.
7. Nerd A, Mizrahi Y. Reproductive biology of cactus fruit crops. Hortic Rev 1997;18:321-46.
8. Nerd A, Sitrita Y, Kaushika RA, Mizrahi Y. High summer temperatures inhibit flowering in vine pitaya crops (Hylocereus spp). Sci Hortic 2002;96(1-4):343-50.
9. Hoa TT, Clark CJ, Wadddell BC, Woolf AB. Postharvest quality of dragon fruit (Hylocereus undatus) following disinfesting hot air treatments. Postharvest Biol Technol 2006;41:62-9.
10. Enzo Life Sciences: Neutrophil Elastase Colorimetric Drug Discovery Kit. Available from: [Last accessed on 2016 Feb 22].
11. Enzo Life Sciences. Matrix Metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) Colorimetric Drug Discovery Kit. Available from: [Last accessed on 2016 Dec 28].
12. Aouadhi C, Ghazghazi H, Hasnaoui B, Maaroufi A. Secondary metabolite, antioxidant and antibacterial activities of Teucrium polium
L methanolic extract. Int J Agric Plant Prod 2013;4:1790-7.
13. Nilsson L. New rapid bioassay of gentamicin based on luciferase assay of extracellular ATP in bacterial cultures. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 1978;14(6):812-6.
14. Singh G, Kumar P. Antibacterial potential of alkaloids of Withania somnifera L. And Euphorbia hirta L. Int J Pharm Pharm Sci 2012;4:78-81.
15. Turney I, Cadirci BH, Nal D, Sukatar A. Antimicrobial activities of the extracts of marine algae from the coast of Urla (Izmir, Turky). Turk J Biol 2006;30:171-5.
16. Dua D, Srivastava NS. A study on antioxidant and anti-aging properties of few medicinal plants. Int J Pharm Pharm Sci 2016;8:344-7.
17. Assaf H, Adly MA, Hussein MR. Aging and intrinsic aging: Pathogenesis and manifestations. In: Farage MA, Miller KW, Maibach HI, editors. Textbook of Aging Skin. 1st ed. Berlin: Springer; 2010. p. 129-38.
18. Kim YH, Kim KS, Han CS, Yang HC, Park SH, Ko KI, et al. Inhibitory effects of natural plants of Jeju Island on elastase and MMP-1 expression. Int J Cosmet Sci 2007;29:487-8.
19. Siedle B, Hrenn A, Merfort I. Natural compounds as inhibitors of human neutrophil elastase. Planta Med 2007;73(5):401-20.
20. Siedle B, Gustavsson L, Johansson S, Murillo R, Castro V, Bohlin L, et al. The effect of sesquiterpene lactones on the release of human neutrophil elastase. Biochem Pharmacol 2003;65(5):897-903.
21. Klaas CA, Wagner G, Laufer S, Sosa S, Della Loggia R, Bomme U, et al. Studies on the anti-inflammatory activity of phytopharmaceuticals prepared from Arnica flowers. Planta Med 2002;68(5):385-91.
22. Lavanya J, Selvam S, Priya M, Jacintha P, Aradana M. Antioxidant and antimicrobial activity of selected medicinal plants against human oral pathogens. Int J Pharm Pharm Sci 2016;8:9.
23. Nurul SR, Asmah R. Variability in nutritional composition and phytochemical properties of red pitaya (Hylocereus polyrhizus) from Malaysia and Australia. Int Food Res J 2014;21(4):1689-97.
24. Wu LC, Hsu HW, Chen YC, Chiu CC, Lin YI, Ho JA, et al. Antioxidant and anti-proliferative activities of red pitaya. Food Chem 2006;95:319-27.
25. Iván G, Szabadka Z, Ordög R, Grolmusz V, Náray-Szabó G. Four spatial points that define enzyme families. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2009;383(4):417-20.
26. Sander CS, Chang H, Salzmann S, Müller CS, Ekanayake-Mudiyanselage S, Elsner P, et al. Photoaging is associated with protein oxidation in human skin in vivo. J Invest Dermatol 2002;118(4):618-25.
27. Panesar R, Kaur S, Panesar PS. Production of microbial pigments utilizing agro-industrial waste - A review. Curr Opin Food Sci 2015;1:70-6.
28. Jamaluddin A, Razak DL, Rashid NY, Sharifudin SA, Kahar AA, Saad AZ, et al. Effects of solid state fermentation by Monascus purpureus on phenolic content and biological activities of coconut testa and rice bran. J Teknol 2016;78(11-2):23-8.
29. Karim AA, Azlan A, Ismail A, Hashim P, Gani SS, Zainudin BH, et al. Phenolic composition, antioxidant, anti-wrinkles and tyrosinase inhibitory activities of cocoa pod extract. BMC Complement Altern Med 2014;14:381.
30. Fisher GJ, Wang ZQ, Datta SC, Varani J, Kang S, Voorhees JJ. Pathophysiology of premature skin aging induced by ultraviolet light. N Engl J Med 1997;337(20):1419-28.
31. Varani J, Warner RL, Gharaee-Kermani M, Phan SH, Kang S, Chung JH, et al. Vitamin A antagonizes decreased cell growth and elevated collagen-degrading matrix metalloproteinases and stimulates collagen accumulation in naturally aged human skin. J Invest Dermatol 2000;114(3):480-6.
32. Fisher GJ, Datta SC, Talwar HS, Wang ZQ, Varani J, Kang S, et al. Molecular basis of sun-induced premature skin ageing and retinoid antagonism. Nature 1996;379(6563):335-9.
33. Chung JH, Seo JY, Choi HR, Lee MK, Youn CS, Rhie G, et al. Modulation of skin collagen metabolism in aged and photoaged human skin in vivo. J Invest Dermatol 2001;117(5):1218-24.
34. Chung JH, Seo JY, Lee MK, Eun HC, Lee JH, Kang S, et al. Ultraviolet modulation of human macrophage metalloelastase in human skin in vivo. J Invest Dermatol 2002;119(2):507-12.
35. Seo JY, Chung JH. Thermal aging: A new concept of skin aging. J Dermatol Sci 2006;2:S13-22.
36. Chanvorachote P, Pongrakhananon V, Luanpitpong S, Chanvorachote B, Wannachaiyasit S, Nimmannit U. Type I pro-collagen promoting and anti-collagenase activities of Phyllanthus emblica extract in mouse fibroblasts. J Cosmet Sci 2009;60(4):395-403.
37. Madhan B, Krishnamoorthy G, Rao JR, Nair BU. Role of green tea polyphenols in the inhibition of collagenolytic activity by collagenase. Int J Biol Macromol 2007;41(1):16-22.
38. Bigg HF, Clark IM, Cawston TE. Fragments of human fibroblast collagenase: Interaction with metalloproteinase inhibitors and substrates. Biochim Biophys Acta 1994;1208(1):157-65.
39. Mc Donald M, Mila I, Scalbert A. Precipitaion of metal ions by plant polyphenols: Optimal conditions and origin of precipitation. J Agric Food Chem 1996;44:599-606.
40. Sen A, Batra A. Evaluation of antimicrobial activity of different solvent extracts of medicinal plant: Melia azedarach L. Int J Curr Pharm Res 2012;4:67-73.
41. Ullah MO, Haque M, Urmi KF, Zulfiker AH, Anita ES, Begum M, et al. Anti-bacterial activity and brine shrimp lethality bioassay of methanolic extracts of fourteen different edible vegetables from Bangladesh. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed 2013;3(1):1-7.
42. Bhattacharya S, Zaman MK, Haldar PK. Antibacterial activity of stem bark and root of Indian Zanthoxylum nitidum. Asian J Pharm Clin Res 2009;2(1):30-4.
43. Khalili RA, Abdullah AB, Manaf AA. Antibacterial activity of flesh and peel methanol fractions of red pitaya, white pitaya and papaya on selected food. Int J Pharm Pharm Sci 2012;330:87-95.
44. Krishna VV, Kumar KG, Pradeepa K, Kumar SR. Antibacterial activity of ethanol extract of Musa paradisiaca CV. Puttable and Musa acuminate CV. Grand naine. Asian J Pharm Clin Res 2013;6(2):169-72.
45. Ayala-Zavala JF, Vega-Vega V, Rosas-Domínguez C, Palafox-Carlos H, Villa-Rodriguez JA, Wasim Siddiqui MD, et al. Agro-industrial potential of exotic fruit byproducts as a source of food additives. Food Res Int 2011;44(7):1866-74.
46. Makris DP, Boskou G, Andrikopoulos NK. Recovery of antioxidant phenolics from white vinification solid by-products employing water/ethanol mixtures. Bioresour Technol 2007;98(15):2963-7.
1069 Views | 906 Downloads
How to Cite
Vijayakumar, R., S. S. Abd Gani, and N. F. Mohd Mokhtar. “ANTI-ELASTASE, ANTI-COLLAGENASE AND ANTIMICROBIAL ACTIVITIES OF THE UNDERUTILIZED RED PITAYA PEEL: AN IN VITRO STUDY FOR ANTI-AGING APPLICATIONS”. Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research, Vol. 10, no. 8, Aug. 2017, pp. 251-5, doi:10.22159/ajpcr.2017.v10i8.19048.
Original Article(s)