Submitted to: International Journal of Food Science and Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/23/2011
Publication Date: 9/15/2011
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/61509
Citation: Wang, S.Y., Chen, H., Ehlenfeldt, M.K. 2011. Antioxidant capacities vary substantially among cultivars of rabbiteye blueberry (Vaccinium ashei Reade). International Journal of Food Science and Technology. 46:2482-2490. Interpretive Summary: Consumption of blueberries and other fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidant compounds is associated with improved human health. We wish to develop blueberries with enhanced antioxidant content. In order to breed these new blueberries, we first characterized variation in antioxidant content among 42 different types of blueberry plants. We found great variation in antioxidant content among this material. Several rabbiteye type blueberries had the highest antioxidant content. Identification of these antioxidant-rich blueberry cultivars will enable their use in future blueberry breeding to develop new blueberry cultivars with higher antioxidant activity. This information is useful to consumers, blueberry growers, and the blueberry industry.
Technical Abstract: Fruit from forty-two blueberry cultivars, including thirty-six rabbiteye (Vaccinium ashei Reade), three V. ashei hybrid derivatives and three northern highbush (V. corymbosum L.) were evaluated for their antioxidant activities against peroxyl free radicals, hydroxyl radicals, hydrogen peroxide, superoxide radicals, and singlet oxygen radicals. The differences in free radical scavenging capacities among 42 selected blueberry cultivars were significant. Oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) values ranged from 33.8 to 118.7 'mol Trolox equivalents (TE)/g fresh wt, 196.1 to 518.8 'mol TE /g dry wt and 7.1 to 22.2 'mol/ cm2-surface area. Extracts from fruit of pure rabbiteye had higher levels of hydrogen peroxide, superoxide radicals, and singlet oxygen scavenging capacities compared to V. ashei hybrid derivatives (Pearl River, Snowflake, and Pink Lemonade) and northern highbush blueberry standards (‘Bluecrop’, ‘Duke’ and ‘Elliott’). The rabbiteye cultivars, Early May and Centurion had the highest scavenging capacity, not only for peroxyl and hydroxyl radicals, but also for hydrogen peroxide, superoxide, and singlet oxygen radicals. In contrast, Pink Lemonade (pink-fruited) had the lowest ability to inhibit all free radical activity and Snowflake had the lowest scavenging capacity for superoxide radicals. Blueberry cultivars with high antioxidant activity and radical scavenging capacity have potential to improve human health and can possibly be used as parents for future blueberry breeding programs to develop new blueberry cultivars with higher antioxidant activity.