Antioxidant capacity as influenced by total phenolic and anthocyanin content, maturity, and variety of Vaccinium species

Prior, R.L., Cao, G., Martin, A., Sofic, E., McEwen, J., O'Brien, C., Lischner, N., Ehlenfeldt, M., Kalt, W., Krewer, G., Mainland, C.M.
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, v. 46,.7 pp. 2686-2693.

Different cultivars of four Vaccinium species [Vaccinium corymbosum L (Highbush), Vaccinium ashei Reade (Rabbiteye), Vaccinium angustifolium (Lowbush), and Vaccinium myrtillus L (Bilberry)] were analyzed for total phenolics, total anthocyanins, and antioxidant capacity (oxygen radical absorbance capacity, ORAC). The total antioxidant capacity of different berries studied ranged from a low of 13.9 to 45.9 micromole Trolox equivalents (TE)/g of fresh berry (63.2-282.3 micromole TE/g of dry matter) in different species and cultivars of Vaccinium. Brightwell and Tifblue cultivars of rabbiteye blueberries were harvested at 2 times, 49 days apart. Increased maturity at harvest increased the ORAC, the anthocyanin, and the total phenolic content. The growing location (Oregon vs Michigan vs New Jersey) did not affect ORAC, anthocyanin or total phenolic content of the cv. Jersey of highbush blueberries. A linear relationship existed between ORAC and anthocyanin (r(xy) = 0.77) or total phenolic (r(xy) = 0.92) content. In general, blueberries are one of the richest sources of antioxidant phytonutrients of the fresh fruits and vegetables we have studied.

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