Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 25, 2001
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Fruit was obtained from lowbush and highbush blueberry plants to evaluate how levels of anthocyanins, phenolics, and antioxidant content varied within and between types. Lowbush blueberries, in general, were consistently higher in anthocyanins, phenolics, and antioxidant content compared to highbush blueberries. No relationship was found between fruit size and anthocyanin in either type. The best extraction of chemical components from fruit was found to occur when a solvent of acidified aqueous methanol was used.
Recent interest in the possible protective effects of dietary antioxidant compounds against human degenerative disease has prompted investigation of foods like blueberries (Vaccinium sp.), that have a high antioxidant capacity. Fruit obtained from genotypes of highbush blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) and lowbush blueberries (Vaccinium angustifolium Aiton) were analyzed for their antioxidant capacity, their content of anthocyanins, and total phenolic compounds, to evaluate the intraspecific and interspecific variation in these parameters. The method of extraction influenced the composition of fruit extracts; the highest anthocyanin, total phenolic and antioxidant capacity was found in extracts obtained using a solvent of acidified aqueous methanol. Regardless of the method, lowbush blueberries were consistently higher in anthocyanins, total phenolics and antioxidant capacity, compared with highbush blueberries. There was no relationship between fruit size and anthocyanin content, in either species.