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J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Apr 6;53(7):2741-5.

Chemical constituents and antioxidant activity of sweet cherry at different ripening stages.

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Department of Applied Biology and Department of Food Technology, EPSO, University Miguel Hernández, Ctra. Beniel km. 3.2, 03312, Orihuela, Alicante, Spain.


The development and ripening process of sweet cherry (Prunus avium L. cv. 4-70) on the tree was evaluated. For this purpose, 14 different stages were selected in accordance with homogeneous size and color. Some parameters related to fruit quality, such as color, texture, sugars, organic acids, total antioxidant activity, total phenolic compounds, anthocyanins, and ascorbic acid were analyzed. The results revealed that in sweet cherry, the changes in skin color, glucose and fructose accumulation, and softening process are initiated at early developmental stages, coinciding with the fast increase in fruit size. Also, the decrease in color parameter a was correlated with the greatest accumulation of total anthocyanins. Ascorbic acid, total antioxidant activity (TAA), and total phenolic compounds decreased during the early stages of sweet cherry development but exponentially increased from stage 8, which coincided with the anthocyanin accumulation and fruit darkening. TAA showed positive correlations (r(2) = 0.99) with both ascorbic acid and total phenolic compounds and also with the anthocyanin concentration from stage 8. Taking into account the reduced shelf life of sweet cherry and to ensure that these fruits reach consumers with the maximum organoleptic, nutritional, and functional properties, it is advisable to harvest sweet cherries at stage 12 of ripening.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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