VINEYARD MANAGEMENT PRACTICES AND THE QUALITY OF GRAPES AND GRAPE PRODUCTS IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
Location: Horticultural Crops Research
Title: Rubus fruit phenolic research: the good, the bad, and the confusing
Submitted to: Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 5, 2011
Publication Date: February 15, 2012
Citation: Lee, J., Dossett, M., Finn, C.E. 2012. Rubus fruit phenolic research: the good, the bad, and the confusing. Food Chemistry. 130:785-796.
Interpretive Summary: Phenolics (phytochemicals) are important quality indicators in Rubus fruit. They are a diverse group of compounds that are a challenge to analyze, especially the larger molecules like ellagitannins. This review article summarized peer reviewed research papers on Rubus fruit phenolics reported in the current literature. Additional studies are needed, particularly for the non-anthocyanin classes since they represent the first step towards understanding phenolic benefits, food processing improvements, and cultivar developments.
Here we attempt to clarify contemporary scientific findings of Rubus fruit phenolics, focusing mainly on published peer-reviewed work from the last six years. Our review focuses on research papers that identified phenolics of Rubus fruit, although other edible parts of Rubus plants (i.e., leaves, roots) also contain phenolics. With increased awareness given to the potential health benefits of consuming berries high in phenolics, efforts have been directed at enhancing Rubus fruit quality and color (through plant selection, harvesting, storage, etc.) for processors and consumers alike. Assessment of any progress requires knowing the state of the starting material, so effective research into Rubus phenolics relies upon the accurate identification of components in Rubus fruit in the initial investigations. We have summarized these reports into three sections: anthocyanins, phenolic monomers other than anthocyanins, and phenolic polymers. More work is needed in identification and quantification, and further opportunities remain for deciphering and clarifying existing phenolic information for Rubus fruit.