Submitted to: Journal of Functional Foods
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 24, 2011
Publication Date: March 2, 2012
Citation: Lee, J., Finn, C.E. 2012. Lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.) grown in the Pacific Northwest of North America: anthocyanin and free amino acid composition. Journal of Functional Foods. 4:213-218. Interpretive Summary: Within the United States, increasing attention has been given to improving the consumer's diet and introducing more minor crops/fruit to school-aged children. Understanding the kinds and quantities of anthocyanins (natural pigments which are important quality indicators in red colored fruit and are regularly cited for their potential health benefits) as well as other fruit quality components that are naturally present in fruit is critical for selective breeding of better fruit traits to improve U.S. production, fruit product processes, and ultimately what reaches the consumer. This paper addresses detailed identification of anthocyanins and free amino acids from lingonberries grown in the Pacific Northwest of North America. To the best our knowledge, and our surprise, the free amino acid composition and content of lingonberries had not been reported until this work.
Technical Abstract: Lingonberries (family Ericaceae) and their products are popular and generally accessible in Europe, though in the United States they are uncommon and considered a minor berry/fruit crop. The ongoing interest in potential health benefits from berry consumption has heightened interest in broadening the selection of berry/fruit crops in the United States. This study measured total phenolics, total tannins, complete anthocyanin content, and total (and individual) free amino acid composition for each of five lingonberry cultivars (Ida, Koralle, Linnea, Sanna, and Sussi). These lingonberries were grown in Oregon, USA and had only been evaluated previously for their horticultural traits. All five cultivars contained the three anticipated anthocyanins: cyanidin-3-galactoside (main anthocyanin found in these berries), cyanidin-3-glucoside, and cyanidin-3-arabinoside. These lingonberries’ total anthocyanin content ranged from 27.4 ('Linnea') to 52.6 ('Ida') mg/100 g fw. They contained 22 free amino acids (FFAs) and total FAA ranged from 28.92 ('Sanna') to 70.38 ('Koralle') mg/100 g fw. Asparagine (ASN) was the leading FAA (22-34% of the total FAA) for all five cultivars. This is the first report on lingonberry FAA content.