Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: May 26, 2006
Publication Date: April 2, 2007
Citation: Wang, S.Y. 2007. Antioxidant capacity and phenolic content of berry fruits as affected by genotype, pre-harvest conditions, maturity and post-harvest handling. In: Zhao, Y., editors. Berry Fruit: Value-Added Products for Health Promotion. 1st Edition. Boca Raton, FL:CRC Press. p. 147-186. Technical Abstract: Recent studies have consistently shown that eating more fruits and vegetables can aid in preventing stomach, lung, mouth, esophagus, colon and rectal cancers and other age-related diseases. The incidence of other chronic diseases, such as coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis, and stroke may also be reduced through increased fruit and vegetable consumption. This can be attributed to the high content of phytonutrients in fruits and vegetables. The most important group of phenolics in berry fruits are the flavonoids which consist mainly of flavonols, anthocyanidins, proanthocyanidins, catechins, flavons, and their glycosides. The content of phenolics and antioxidant capacity in berries is affected by genetic differences (genotypes), the degree of maturity at harvest, preharvest environmental conditions, and post-harvest treatments and storage conditions. This review describes the effects of all of these factors on antioxidant capacity and phenolic content of berry fruits. This chapter also discusses methods to enhance antioxidant capacity in berry fruits. Berry crops rich in antioxidants are helpful in improving human health.