In an effort to find a new whitening agent, we focused our attention on Allium cepa (red onion). Based on biologically guided fractionation using mushroom tyrosinase, quercetin 4'-O -βD-glucopyranoside was isolated from the dried skin of A. cepa. Quercetin 4'-O - βD-glucopyranoside showed tyrosinase inhibitory activity using L-tyrosine or L-DOPA as a substrate, with IC50 values of 4.3 and 52.7μ M, respectively. Based on the results obtained, the dried skin of red onion possesses ingredients with potential for skin-whitening cosmetics with anti-tyrosinase activity.
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