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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Fruit Quality, Antioxidant Capacity, and Flavonoid Content of Organically and Conventionally Grown Blueberries

Authors
item Wang, Shiow
item Chitsun, Chen - HUALIN DISTRICT, TAIWAN
item Sciarappa, William - RUTGERS UNIV
item Wang, Chien

Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 30, 2008
Publication Date: July 15, 2008
Citation: Wang, S.Y., Chitsun, C., Sciarappa, W., Wang, C.Y. 2008. Fruit Quality, Antioxidant Capacity, and Flavonoid Content of Organically and Conventionally Grown Blueberries. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 56:5788-5794.

Interpretive Summary: The demand for organic food products has increased rapidly during recent years. However, research comparing the nutritive values of organically produced foods with those of conventionally grown foods has been inconclusive. We set out to compare the fruit quality, antioxidant activity, and flavonoid content of organically and conventionally grown blueberries. We found that blueberries produced from organic culture contained significantly higher amounts of many phytonutrients than those produced from conventional culture. Thus, the organically grown blueberries may provide a higher benefit to human health than conventionally grown berries. This research contributes to the knowledge on the effect of cultural practices on quality and antioxidant activity in fruits. Information obtained from this study will benefit consumer and other scientists.

Technical Abstract: The effect of cultural practices on fruit quality and antioxidant capacity in highbush blueberries var. Bluecrop (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) was evaluated from random samples of commercial late harvest fields in New Jersey, USA. Results from this survey showed that blueberry fruit grown from organic culture yielded higher sugars (fructose and glucose), total phenol, total anthocyanin, and antioxidant activity (ORAC) than fruit from the conventional culture. In organic cultured fruit, the average values for the ORAC, anthocyanin, and total phenol content were 43.2 'mol Trolox (TE) /g fresh weight (fwt), 112.3 mg/100g fwt, and 289.0 mg/100g fwt, respectively. In conventional cultured fruit, the average values for the ORAC, anthocyanin, and total phenol content were 35.2 'mol TE/g fwt, 91.8 mg/100g fwt, and 220.7mg/100g fwt, respectively. The organic culture also produced fruit with high chlorogenic acid, and flavonoid content (myricetin 3-arabinoside, quercetin 3-galactoside, delphinidin 3-galactoside, delphinidin 3-glucoside, delphinidin 3-arabinoside, petunidin 3-galactoside, petunidin 3- glucoside, malvidin 3-glucoside and malvidin 3-arabinoside). There is a correlation between the ORAC values and total phenolics and total anthocyanins. The results indicate that blueberries produced from organic culture contain significantly higher amounts of phytonutrients than those produced from conventional culture. Thus, such differences may provide a higher benefit to human health.

Last Modified: 10/23/2014
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