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J Agric Food Chem. 2001 Aug;49(8):4076-82.

Berry phenolics and their antioxidant activity.

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Department of Applied Chemistry and Microbiology, Division of Food Chemistry, P.O. Box 27, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland.


Phenolic profiles of a total of 26 berry samples, together with 2 apple samples, were analyzed without hydrolysis of glycosides with HPLC. The phenolic contents among different berry genera varied considerably. Anthocyanins were the main phenolic constituents in bilberry, bog-whortleberry, and cranberry, but in cowberries, belonging also to the family Ericaceae genus Vaccinium, flavanols and procyanidins predominated. In the family Rosaceae genus Rubus (cloudberry and red raspberry), the main phenolics found were ellagitannins, and in genus Fragaria (strawberry), ellagitannins were the second largest group after anthocyanins. However, phenolic acids were dominant in rowanberries (genus Sorbus) and anthocyanins in chokeberry (genus Aronia). In the family Grossulariaceae genus Ribes (currants and gooseberry), anthocyanins predominated, as well as in crowberries (family Empetraceae genus Empetrum). In apples, hydroxycinnamic acids were the main phenolic subgroup. Extraction methods for berries and apples were studied to produce phenolic extracts with high antioxidant activity. Evaluation of antioxidant activity was performed by autoxidazing methyl linoleate (40 degrees C, in the dark). The extraction method affected remarkably both the phenolic composition and the antioxidant activity, but with statistical analysis the observed activity could not be well explained with the contents of individual phenolic subgroups.

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