Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Fruit Anthocyanins In Vaccinium praestans Lamb.

Authors
item Hummer, Kim
item Durst, Robert - OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 20, 2007
Publication Date: July 20, 2007
Citation: Hummer, K.E., Durst, R. 2007. Fruit Anthocyanins In Vaccinium praestans Lamb.. HortScience. 42(4):1008.

Interpretive Summary: An unusual Asian blueberry species known as "redberry" in Russian, or "rock azalea," in Japanese was recently collected. It is a low growing, deciduous shrub that can be found on rocky cliffs near the sea, on slopes of hills and mountains, and in marshes Siberia and on the northern islands of Japan. The plant has little, branched, glabrous, upright stems that are about 6 to 8 inches tall, with creeping stems that occasionally root horizontally and form new plants. In summer the leaves are bright green, and oval-shaped. This plant has potential as a landscape ground cover for semi-shady areas on well-drained acid soil. The aromatic and flavorful bright red berries, about the size of a small blueberry in diameter, are harvested and processed into juice, jam and syrup each August by the native people where this species grows. The regional folklore describes that these berries are healthful to eat. Our objective was to determine the pigment content of this fruit. Fruit syrup of these berries was prepared in eastern Russia and was analyzed in Corvallis, Oregon, on December 2006, with a machine called the high pressure liquid chromatograph (HPLC). The fruit pigments are very different from those of cranberries, lingonberries, or blueberries. This Asian berry contains many pigments that provide a complex, sharp flavor, which some have called “strawberry-like,” but is, in our opinion, distinct from other known berries.

Technical Abstract: Vaccinium praestans, is commonly known as Kamchatka bilberry, krasnika = redberry in Russian, or iwa tsutsuji = rock azalea, in Japanese. It is a low growing, ericaceous, deciduous shrub that can be found on rocky cliffs near the sea, on slopes of hills and mountains, and in marshes of Kamchatka, Amur, Khabarovsk, and Primorye in the continental Russian Federation, on Sakhalin and the Kurile Islands, Russian Federation, and on Hokkaido, Japan. The plant has little, branched, glabrous, upright stems that reach 10 to 15 cm, with creeping stems that occasionally root horizontally and form new crowns. In summer the leaves are bright green, entire, obovate to ovate. This plant has potential as a landscape ground cover for semi-shady areas on well-drained acid soil. The aromatic and flavorful red berries, about 1.2 cm in diameter, are harvested and processed into juice, jam and syrup each August by the Sakhalin people. The regional folklore asserts to the healthful properties of these fruit products. Our objective was to determine the anthocyanin content of V. praestans fruit. Fruit syrup of V. praestans prepared in Sakhalin was analyzed in Corvallis, Oregon, on December 2006, with high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC). The fruit anthocyanins are qualitatively and quantitatively different from those of cranberries, V. macrocarpon Ait. and V. oxycoccos L., lingonberries, V. vitis-idaea L., or blueberries V. corymbosum L. or V. myrtillus L. V. praestans contains significant portions of delphinidin-3-galactoside, delphinidin-3-glucoside, cyanidin-3-glucoside, cyanidin-3-arabinoside and minor amounts of cyanidin-3-galactoside, delphinidin-3-arabinoside, peonidin-3-galactoside, peonidin-3-arabinoside and seven unknowns. These pigments provide part of the complex, sharp flavor, which some have called “strawberry-like,” but is, in our opinion, distinct from other known berries.

Last Modified: 4/16/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page