Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Corvallis, Oregon » National Clonal Germplasm Repository » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #139528

Title: Anthocyanins, phenolics, and antioxidant capacity in diverse small fruits: Vaccinium, Rubus, and Ribes

item Hummer, Kim
item Finn, Chad

Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/30/2002
Publication Date: 1/30/2002
Citation: Moyer, R., Hummer, K.E., Finn, C.E., Frei, B., Wrolstad, R. 2002. Anthocyanins, phenolics, and antioxidant capacity in diverse small fruits: Vaccinium, Rubus, and Ribes. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. p. 519-525.

Interpretive Summary: Fruits from 107 genotypes of blueberry, blackberry, black raspberry and black currant species were analyzed for different compounds that indicate antioxidant capabilities. The technique that is usually used is called the oxygen radical absorbing capacity (ORAC). We looked at ORAC values in comparison with another technique called ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) as well as measurements of the pigments called anthocyanins, and phenolic compounds. The fruit size wa highly related with the anthocyanin content of blueberries but was not correlated in related blueberry species or in blackberries. Certain blueberry and currant fruits with colored fruit flesh had higher in the different antioxidant measurements than were the non-pigmented flesh. The ORAC values vor the black fruits that we tested were much higher than red fruits such as strawberries or raspberries, which are higher than vegetables and leafy greens. This study demonstrated that a wide range of anti-oxidant levels in the dark fruits that were analyzed. These high levels of anti-oxidants would be of nutraceutical value for human consumption.

Technical Abstract: Fruits from 107 genotypes of Vaccinium L., Rubus L., and Ribes L. were analyzed for total anthocyanin (ACY), total phenolics (TPH), and antioxidant capacities as determined by oxygen radical absorbing capacity (ORAC) and ferric reducing power (FRAP). Fruit size was highly correlated (r=0.84) with ACY within Vaccinium corymbosum L., but was not correlated to ACY across eight other Vaccinium species or within 27 blackberry hybries. Certain Vaccinium and Ribes fruits with pigmented flesh were lower in ACY, TPH, ORAC, and FRAP compared to those values in berries with non-pigmented flesh. ORAC values ranged from 19 to 131 umoles Trolox equivalents/g in Vaccinium, from 13 to 146 in Rubus and from 17 to 116 in Ribes. Though ACY may indicate TPH, the range observed in ACY/TPH ratios precludes prediction of ACY from TPH and vice versa for a single genotype. In general, TPH was more highly correlated to antioxidant capacity than ACY. This study demonstrates the wide diversity of phytochemical levels and antioxidant capacities within and across three genera of small fruit.