|Authors: ||Moo Jung Kim, P. Perkins-Veazie, G.E. Fernandez|
|Keywords: ||blackberry, anthocyanin, phenolic compounds, antioxidant, storage|
Consumer demand for organically grown fruit continues to increase in the US. Blackberry (Rubus spp.) contains high amounts of phenolic compounds with demonstrated health benefits, and the acreage of fresh market organic blackberries continues to increase.
Organically grown blackberries for fresh market use ('Natchez', 'Ouachita', and 'Navaho') were divided into shiny black (fully colored and firm) and dull black (fully colored, slightly soft, still marketable) groups.
Berries were placed in plastic clamshells and stored at 1°C and 90% RH for 15 days or at 1°C for 13 days plus 2 days at 20°C (70% RH) to emulate storage temperatures encountered in commercial handling and distribution.
Samples of fresh and or stored berries free of visible mold and injury were frozen and held at -80°C until analyzed.
Fruit was chemically analyzed for total phenolic and anthocyanin contents and antioxidant activity (FRAP assay). Among cultivars, total phenolic and monomeric anthocyanin contents and antioxidant activity were highest in freshly harvested fruit of 'Natchez' and 'Navaho' compared to 'Ouachita' fruit.
Although stored berries were lower in all components than fresh fruit, values were similar among fruit stored at different temperatures.
Shiny black fruit of freshly harvested 'Natchez' and 'Navaho' were higher than dull black fruit in total phenolic content and FRAP while total monomeric anthocyanin content was similar among ripeness stages.
Phenolic content and antioxidant capacity were generally higher in freshly harvested fruit than in stored berries in all cultivars.
Total phenolic content and FRAP antioxidant capacity were the highest in shiny black, freshly harvested 'Natchez' and 'Navaho' berries.
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