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Chapter 4. Blackberry fruit quality components, composition, and potential health benefits



Blackberries have long been a popular small fruit. Their chemical composition data was assembled for this invited book chapter. Briefly, primary and secondary metabolites important to blackberry fruit quality were summarized. Metabolites are involved in many critical aspects of fruit quality including appearance, taste, and storability. These metabolites are also essential for the plant’s own survival. Growers, processors, and consumers should remain conscious that quality components vary with a plant’s genus, species, cultivar/genotype, and age; along with environmental conditions, management practices, processing methods, and storage. Beside their dietary phenolic content, blackberries have other important contributors to nutrition, including vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B6, folic acid, dietary fiber, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, calcium, and iron. Though, regardless of their healthfulness they are best known for their great taste.
© CAB International 2017. Blackberries (eds H.K. Hall and R.C. Funt) 49
* Corresponding author:
Small-fruit quality is closely related to its production of primary and secondary
metabolites (i.e. type, concentration). Blackberry metabolites continue to
undergo anabolism and/or catabolism within the fruit until harvest, and these
components that remain, and are not degraded by the time the fruit (or fruit
product) reaches consumers, determine blackberry fruit quality. The primary
and secondary metabolite composition of a blackberry defines its characteris-
tic appearance, taste, and texture. Blackberries are typically purchased for con-
sumption as fresh, individually quick frozen (IQF), or as a further processed
product incorporating them into jams, syrups, wines, teas, juices, concen-
trates, and purees. Many potential health benefits from consuming blackber-
ries or blackberry products are attributed to their metabolites. Metabolites also
directly and indirectly influence processing regimes, shelf life, and consumer
Blackberries contain dietary fiber, vitamin C (ascorbic acid), vitamin A,
vitamin E, potassium, and calcium (for additional nutrition facts, see USDA,
2015), along with the phenolic metabolites that are a source of possible health
benefits. Sensory attributes, typically used to describe the taste and flavor of
blackberries, include fresh fruit, cooked fruit, cooked berry, strawberry, rasp-
berry, vegetal, stemmy, and earthy (Du et al., 2010). In this chapter, a sum-
mary of distinct primary and secondary metabolites crucial to blackberry
quality will be presented focusing on fruit, although all parts of the plant
(leaves, canes, and roots) have historically been used as foods or herbal reme-
dies (Arnason et al., 1981; Hummer, 2010). The concentration ranges for
compounds related to blackberry quality are summarized in Table 4.1.
BlackBerry fruiT qualiTy comPonenTs,
comPosiTion, and PoTenTial healTh BenefiTs
Jungmin Lee*
USDA-ARS-HCRU Worksite, Parma, Idaho, USA
50 Jungmin Lee
Table 4.1. Blackberry and blackberry hybrid fruit quality components and
reported concentration ranges (in fresh weight).
Fruit quality
Reported ranges
(n = sample size) References
Fruit mass 3.8–28.3 g
(n = 19)
Finn et al., 2014; Vrhovsek et al., 2008;
H.K. Hall, personal observation
Calories 43–64 kcal/100 g
(n = 3)
USDA, 2015
% soluble solids 6.9–16.8
(n = 90)
Fan-Chiang and Wrolstad, 2010; Finn
et al., 2014; Mertz et al., 2007; Thomas
et al., 2005; Vrhovsek et al., 2008;
Wang et al., 2008
Titratable acidity 0.08–2.7 g/100 g
(n = 82)
Fan-Chiang and Wrolstad, 2010; Finn
et al., 2014; Mertz et al., 2007; Thomas
et al., 2005; Veberic et al., 2014; Wang
et al., 2008
pH 2.6–3.9
(n = 73)
Fan-Chiang and Wrolstad, 2010; Finn
et al., 2014; Mertz et al., 2007; Thomas
et al., 2005; Veberic et al., 2014
Simple sugars 2.6–13.9 g/100 g
(n = 63)
Fan-Chiang and Wrolstad, 2010; Mikulic-
Petkovsek et al., 2012; Veberic et al.,
Organic acids* 0.5–2.9 g/100 g
or (n = 73)
Fan-Chiang and Wrolstad, 2010; Mikulic-
Petkovsek et al., 2012; Vrhovsek et al.,
Vitamin C (ascorbic
1.2–11.9 mg/100 g
(n = 12)
Thomas et al., 2005; Veberic et al., 2014
Anthocyanins 28–366 mg/100 g
(n = 1,306)
Conner et al., 2005; Fan-Chiang and
Wrolstad, 2005; Finn et al., 2014;
Scalzo et al., 2008; Sellappan et al.,
2002; Vasco et al., 2009; Veberic et al.,
2014; Wang et al., 2008
Phenolic monomers 0.7–555 mg/100 g
(n = 22)
Acosta-Montoya et al., 2010; Bilyk and
Sapers, 1986; Gancel et al., 2011;
Sellappan et al., 2002; Vasco et al.,
2009; Veberic et al., 2014
Ellagic acid
17–27 mg/100 g
(n = 5)
Gasperotti et al., 2010
85–390 mg/100 g
(n = 23)
Gancel et al., 2011; Gasperotti et al.,
2010; Vasco et al., 2009; Vrhovsek
et al., 2008
Carotenoids 0.44–0.59 mg/100 g
(n = 2)
Curl, 1964; Marinova and Ribarova,
*Excluding ascorbic acid, listed separately.
Quality, Composition, and Health Benefits 51
Two simple quality measurements of blackberries and their hybrids assess the
most influential categories of their taste perception: sugar and organic acid
content. Typically sweetness is described as percent (%) soluble solids, while
acidity is reported as titratable acidity (for concentration ranges, see Table 4.1).
Sugars reported in blackberry fruits are fructose, glucose, sucrose, and occa-
sionally exceedingly low levels of sorbitol (Fan-Chiang and Wrolstad, 2010;
Lee, 2015; Mikulic-Petkovsek et al., 2012; Wrolstad et al., 1980, 1981). Min-
ute concentrations of sorbitol (sugar alcohol) in processed blackberry products
(e.g. juice) likely originated from processing enzymes or immature (under ripe)
fruit (Fan-Chiang and Wrolstad, 2010; Lee, 2015). Since sorbitol is seldom
found in ripe blackberries (Lee, 2015), the detection of sugar alcohol may be
an indicator of accidental or fraudulent adulteration of products with cheaper
fruit (i.e. apples, pears) juices or concentrates (Lee, 2015; Lee et al., 2012;
Wrolstad et al., 1981). Lee (2015) clarified that recent United States media
claims of blackberries containing high levels of sugar alcohol were inaccurate
and actually the opposite of scientific findings.
Blackberry tartness is due to nonvolatile organic acids, including ascorbic
acid (vitamin C), citric acid, isocitric acid, lactoisocitric acid, malic acid, shi-
kimic acid, fumaric acid, and succinic acid (Fan-Chiang and Wrolstad, 2010;
Mikulic-Petkovsek et al., 2012; Veberic et al., 2014; Vrhovsek et al., 2008).
Lactoisocitric acid can be a useful organic acid marker for blackberries, with
the caveat that the amounts in blackberry hybrids (e.g. ‘Loganberry,’ ‘Boysen-
berry’) may be too low to act as an effective indicator. Two distinctive patterns
were observed in the acid makeup of blackberry samples examined by Fan-
Chiang and Wrolstad (2010). The samples’ organic acid profiles resembled
either that of ‘Marion’ (higher citric acid levels) or of ‘Evergreen’ (higher isoc-
itric acid levels), suggesting this distinguishing factor might allow the identifi-
cation of cultivars used in commercial blackberry products.
Famiani and Walker (2009) investigated changes in blackberry primary
metabolites during fruit ripening, where they found soluble solids increased
while titratable acidity decreased during the final growth stage prior to har-
vest. Ratios of sugars to acids will not be discussed here, since ratios are mis-
leading in terms of apparent flavor; equivalent sugar–acid ratios do not equal
similar taste assessments.
Blackberry fruit phenolics have been thoroughly reviewed by Lee et al. (2012)
and Kaume et al. (2012). Unlike other dark-colored Rubus fruit (i.e. black
raspberry and red raspberry), blackberry pigments are chiefly cyanidin-based
anthocyanins (Lee et al., 2012). Though the characteristic black color of intact
52 Jungmin Lee
fresh blackberry fruit is actually from its concentration and types of anthocya-
nins (natural red pigments). Since anthocyanin color is pH dependent, color
linked to its structural form that undergoes transformation with changes in
pH, a slight change in pH makes the red anthocyanin within blackberries turn
a deep purple to black color. However, there are some rare blackberries lacking
anthocyanins, including ‘Snowbank’ (R. allegheniensis; Hummer et al., 2015)
and ‘Clark Gold’ (R. trivalis; US PP14935 P2). While these uncommon fruits
are white to yellow, consumers gravitate towards more commercially available
dark blackberries thought to have high pigment concentrations. Blackberry
anthocyanin levels (see Table 4.1) are actually in the lower ranges of what can
be found in black raspberries (anthocyanin levels ranging from 39 to
996 mg/100ml, n > 1,000; Dossett et al., 2012), or blueberries (anthocyanin
levels ranging from 101 to 400 mg/100 g, n = 37; Lee et al., 2004), but higher
than red raspberries (anthocyanin levels ranging from 6 to 98 mg/100 g,
n = 644; Scalzo et al., 2008).
Blackberries contain acylated and non-acylated anthocyanins, but most
are the non-acylated form. The major anthocyanins that have been reported
are cyanidin-glucoside, cyanidin-rutinoside, cyanidin-xyloside, cyanidin-
malonylglucoside, and cyanidin-dioxalylglucoside (or possibly cyanidin-
hydroxymethylglutaroylglucoside) (Conner et al., 2005; Fan-Chiang and
Wrolstad, 2005; Finn et al., 2014; Jordheim et al., 2011; Lee et al., 2012;
Stintzing et al., 2002a; Veberic et al., 2014, 2015). While the most predomi-
nate pigment in blackberries is cyanidin-glucoside (44–95% of total), the ratios
of subsequent anthocyanins vary with cultivar and genotype. Blackberry
hybrids contain different anthocyanin profiles compared to non-hybrids. For
example, hybrids of raspberry and blackberry (i.e. ‘Boysenberry’ and ‘Logan-
berry’) contain cyanidin-sophoroside, as found in red raspberry, but not in any
non-hybrid blackberry (Fan-Chiang and Wrolstad, 2005; Lee et al., 2012).
Some blackberries including ‘Marion,’ ‘Waldo,’ ‘Evergreen,’ ‘Black
Douglass,’ ‘Hull Thornless,’ ‘Chester Thornless,’ and ‘Shawnee,’ contain cyan-
idin-dioxalylglucoside (Fan-Chiang and Wrolstad, 2005; Kolniak-Ostek et al.,
2015; Stintzing et al., 2002a). This identification may be, at least
partially, disputed, as an independent group has claimed that the
accepted identity of cyanidin- dioxalylglucoside is actually cyanidin-
hydroxymethylglutaroylglucoside (unconfirmed; Jordheim et al., 2011). It
should be noted that while both of those anthocyanins are unique to black-
berries (Fan-Chiang and Wrolstad, 2005; Jordheim et al., 2011; Veberic et al.,
2014), they are not necessarily found in all varieties, and neither was detected
in the new ‘Columbia Star’ (Finn et al., 2014).
The prevailing minor anthocyanin in many blackberries is pelargonidin-
glucoside, as Veberic et al. (2014) found in the cultivars ‘Black Satin,’ ‘ C
Bestrna,’ ‘Chester Thornless,’ ‘Thornless Evergreen,’ ‘Loch Ness,’ and ‘Thorn-
free.’ Although one previous study did not find pelargonidin-glucoside when
identical cultivars were tested (Fan-Chiang and Wrolstad, 2005).
Quality, Composition, and Health Benefits 53
Blackberry anthocyanins increase in concentration with fruit maturity
(Acosta-Montoya et al., 2010; Famiani and Walker, 2009). While darker fruit
is an indication of ripeness, post-processing modifications in appearance are
expected. Freezing, thawing, or storage induced visual color changes of dark
black to hues of red, yellow, or blue are due to slight alterations in pH and deg-
radation of ascorbic acid, anthocyanins, etc. (Stintzing et al., 2002b; Veberic
et al., 2014). Anthocyanin-based color is also affected by the physical form of
water (liquid versus ice) and the chemical state of the fruit itself.
Anthocyanin profiles, as well as the presence of sorbitol, mentioned ear-
lier, can point to adulteration in blackberry and non-blackberry based prod-
ucts (Lee, 2015; Lee et al., 2012; Wrolstad et al., 1981). For instance, a black
raspberry freeze-dried powder (~$19 per 100 g), sold as a dietary supplement,
was found to actually contain blackberry powder (~$14 per 100 g); Lee (2014)
confirmed this with repeated purchases over time, and by analyzing blackberry
and black raspberry powdered products from the same anonymous vendor.
Although the fruit powders are similar visually, they have distinct anthocyanin
profiles (Lee et al., 2012).
The non-anthocyanin phenolic monomers (range shown in Table 4.1) found in
blackberry fruit are the phenolic acids: ellagic acid, gallic acid, p-coumaric acid
esters, caffeic acid, caffeic acid esters (like neochlorogenic acid), ferulic acid,
ferulic acid esters; the flavanols: catechin and epicatechin; and the flavonol-
glycosides: quercetin-, kaempferol-, isorhamnetin-, and myricetin-glycosides
(Bilyk and Sapers, 1986; Kolniak-Ostek et al., 2015; Lee et al., 2012; Mertz
et al., 2007; Sellappan et al., 2002; Veberic et al., 2014). Acylated flavonol-
glycosides have also been reported in blackberries (Veberic et al., 2014). A
more detailed list of blackberry phenolic monomers can be found in Lee et al.
(2012), but additional work is needed to clarify these phenolic classes in
While ellagic acid is the main phenolic acid seen in blackberries, it is a
challenging compound to analyze, since it has poor solubility in water;
although improved in alcohol, its solubility is enhanced best by increasing
solution pH well above what is normally found in foods (Bala et al., 2006). At
least one study reported flavonol-glycoside levels decreased with fruit ripening
(Acosta-Montoya et al., 2010).
Blackberries, and other Rubus fruit (i.e. red raspberries, cloudberries), are a
rich source of ellagitannins (also known as hydrolyzable tannins, and distinct
54 Jungmin Lee
from the more extensively studied condensed tannins). Red raspberry ellagi-
tannin concentrations, at 94–172 mg/100 g, were found lower than for black-
berries (for range, see Table 4.1), but within the same study their single black
raspberry sample tested in the blackberry range at 330 mg/100 g (Vrhovsek
et al., 2008). The main intact (non-hydrolyzed) blackberry ellagitannins have
been recognized as lambertianin C and sanguiin H-6 (Acosta-Montoya et al.,
2010; Gancel et al., 2011; Gasperotti et al., 2010; Mertz et al., 2007;
Sangiovanni et al., 2013). Kool et al. (2010) did not find lambertianin C in
their ‘Boysenberry’ samples, but found sanguiin H-6 as the primary ellagitan-
nin, along with three other supplementary ellagitannins.
Some researchers have broken down (hydrolyzed) ellagitannins before
analysis and reported the ellagitannin subunits as methyl gallate, ellagic acid
derivative, ellagic acid, and methyl sanguisorboate, with mean degree of
polymerization (indication of size) ranging from 1.59 to 1.92 (Mertz et al.,
2007; Vrhovsek et al., 2006, 2008). This points to ellagitannin values deter-
mined by hydrolysis prior to high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)
separation as offering the closest probable approximation of ellagitannin
concentrations within unprocessed fruit. These remain a difficult group of
compounds to extract, separate, and identify. Beside conventional challenges
in investigating a naturally complex class of compounds, work with them is
further hampered by the lack of available pure commercial standards, no con-
firmed identifications as of 2016, and problems keeping these compound in
their native states (Acosta et al., 2014; Acosta-Montoya et al., 2010; Aripitsas,
2012; Gasperotti et al., 2010; Lee et al., 2012; Sangiovanni et al., 2013;
Vrhovsek et al., 2006, 2008).
Ellagitannins are found in all fractions of Rubus fruit, but the highest con-
centrations are in seed fractions (Hager et al., 2008). Ellagitannin levels can
decrease during the fruit-ripening period from red to fully ripe (Acosta- Montoya
et al., 2010). They also are reduced during food processing by high tempera-
ture degradation (e.g. pasteurization), precipitation out of solution, and
hydrolysis to ellagic acid (Gancel et al., 2011). Some reports have likely under-
estimated ellagitannins by incomplete extraction due to inappropriate solvents
and non-optimized extraction techniques (Lee et al., 2012; Lei et al., 2001).
Ellagitannins play several roles within plants, including protecting them
from pathogen attack and inhibiting premature seed germination (Lee et al.,
2012; Lei et al., 2001). To humans, these are the compounds seen as sediments
during wine and juice processing, and they can contribute to turbidity issues
for food products requiring clarity as a quality assessment (Lee et al., 2012).
However, these same sediments (i.e. ellagic acid and ellagitannin) from post-
processing waste are also potential future ingredients for value-added products
(Acosta et al., 2014). No work has yet been published on blackberry ellagitan-
nins’ taste, but work done with wood tannins (same phenolic class as found in
blackberries, but different types of ellagitannins) shows their contributions
range from no detectable flavor to added bitterness and astringency, with
Quality, Composition, and Health Benefits 55
threshold concentration dependent to each specific compound examined
( Glabasnia and Hofmann, 2006). Additional work is needed for identification,
quantification, and sensory evaluation of this phenolic class from
Other quality constituents of blackberries are carotenoids, vitamins, minerals,
proteins, fiber, and aroma compounds. Aroma compounds reported in black-
berries are esters (ethylacetate), aliphatic alcohols (heptanol, hexenol, hex-
anol, and octanol), terpenes (carveol), aldehydes (hexanal, hexenal, and
benzaldehyde), and ketones (heptanone) were found in R. ulmifolius Schott
(D’Agostino et al., 2015; Perez-Gallardo et al., 2015). Blackberry fruit carote-
noids are lutein, b-carotene, zeaxanthin, and b-cryptoxanthin (Marinova and
Ribarova, 2007). Additional work needs to be conducted on the quality of
components listed in this section to provide a better understanding of similari-
ties and differences among cultivars, field treatments, etc. Novelty products
made from food processing by-products, such as juice presscake and black-
berry seed oils, are currently available and are a source of vitamin E (Bushman
et al., 2004; Van Hoed et al., 2011).
Besides the flavor and color blackberries provide to foods, their naturally high
level of phenolics could have potential health benefits that may help protect
their consumers from some chronic diseases. Blackberry fruit phenolics have
been implicated in providing anticancer, antiproliferative, antineurodegenera-
tive, anti-inflammatory, antidiarrheal, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, and antivi-
ral activities (Bakkalbasi et al., 2009; Landete, 2011, 2012; Lee et al., 2012;
Pojer et al., 2013). Phenolics bioavailability, metabolism, and potential health
benefits have been previously well reviewed (Bakkalbasi et al., 2009; Landete,
2011, 2012; Pojer et al., 2013), although the exact mechanisms of how black-
berries may impart protection after ingestion remain unclear. It is clear that
diets rich in fruits and vegetables are valuable in preventing some cancers and
reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease (Basu et al., 2010; Van Duyn and
Pivonka, 2000; Pojer et al., 2013), and blackberries can be an element of that
Blackberry fruit anthocyanins are found in their native forms at low con-
centrations after digestion; the majority are found as protocatechuic acid and
its derivatives (i.e. ferulic acid, hippuric acid, vanillic acid), phenylacetic acid,
phenylpropenoic acid, methylated conjugates, glucuronidated conjugates, and
many other metabolites (Czank et al., 2013; de Ferrars et al., 2014; Felgines
56 Jungmin Lee
et al., 2005; Pojer et al., 2013). Fang (2014) reviewed the absorption route of
cyanidin-glucoside, the chief blackberry anthocyanin. Czank et al. (2013)
demonstrated isotopically labeled cyanidin-glucoside (500 mg) remained in
circulation in male subjects for over 48 hours. Cyanidin-glucoside has been
shown to inhibit proliferation of human lung carcinoma cells, and cancer cell
migration in mice (Ding et al., 2006). Blackberries have also been linked to
providing neuroprotective effects in human neuroblastoma (extracranial solid
cancer) cells (Tavares et al., 2013).
As with the previously mentioned challenges to analyzing blackberry phe-
nolic polymers (i.e. ellagitannins), their size and poor solubility limit their bio-
availability as well (Garcia-Munoz and Vaillant, 2014). Ellagitannins’ health
beneficial effects were well summarized recently (Landete, 2011; Garcia-
Munoz et al., 2014). A post-ingestion assessment of blackberry ellagitannins
in human urine found that the metabolites had been converted into urolithins
by gut microbiota (Garcia-Munoz et al., 2014). Urolithins are associated with
preventing or controlling colon, breast, esophageal, and prostate cancers
( Garcia-Munoz and Vaillant, 2014; Landete, 2011). As each of us has hetero-
geneous gut microbiota, some researchers have classified individuals into
urolithin A, urolithin B, or non-urolithin (unidentified metabolites) excreters
(Tomas-Barberan et al., 2014). A review of a variety of gut microbiota metabo-
lizing assorted classes of phenolics was well summarized by Selma et al. (2009).
Additional data on this topic will become available as the number of identified
gut bacteria grows, and they come to be further studied.
The exact mechanism of how blackberry dietary phenolics benefit human
health is not fully elucidated and more work needs to be conducted to clarify
this. While phenolics are attributed in disease prevention, they are also anti-
nutritive and hinder absorption of certain minerals and proteins (Landete,
2012). Human clinical studies on blackberries alone, not mixed berries, are
limited. A USA human clinical study on the influence of blackberries on can-
cer processes has been completed, but results are not yet available (US clinical
trial identifier NCT01293617). Additional work is needed to clarify the contra-
dicting reports among in vitro and in vivo work, animal models versus human
trials, length of intervention, types of cells used, etc. (Garcia-Munoz and
Vaillant, 2014; Landete, 2011, 2012).
Antioxidant claims have been deemed scientifically uncorroborated
( Hollman et al., 2011), and will not be discussed due to the controversial
limitations surrounding in vitro methods (Carocho and Ferreira, 2013; Frankel
and Meyer, 2000). Numerous studies and reviews are available on the lack
of evidence for a relationship between antioxidant activity and human health
(Hollman et al., 2011; Lee et al., 2012). In 2010, the European Food Safety
Authority (EFSA), analogous in the European Union (EU) to the US Food and
Drug Administration (FDA), rejected a petition for labeling food packages with
health claims related to antioxidant activity, citing the lack of scientific data
from human trials to substantiate such a claim (Gilsenan, 2011).
Quality, Composition, and Health Benefits 57
As many become convinced that blackberries’ quality compounds offer desir-
able potential health benefits, efforts have been conducted to further enhance
the dietary phenolic content of blackberry fruit. Various techniques, including
stimulation of metabolite production with field management factors via biotic
elicitors (e.g. Pseudomonas fluorescens) and plant hormones (e.g. methyl
jasmonate), have been attempted (Garcia-Seco et al., 2013; Ramos-Solano
et al., 2014, 2015; Wang et al., 2008). Nutrient regimes have also been shown
to alter blackberry phenolics (Ali et al., 2011). The high perishability of fruit
sold in the fresh market has also created a demand to prolong blackberry shelf
life; positive reports have used calcium in combination with pectin spray and
starch-beeswax coating to prolong the shelf life (Perez-Gallardo et al., 2015;
Sousa et al., 2007).
Growers, processors, and consumers should remain conscious that the
quality components discussed here vary with a plant’s genus, species, cultivar/
genotype, and age; along with environment and management practices such
as growing region and conditions, harvest decisions, fruit maturity indices,
processing methods, and storage. Beside their dietary phenolic content, black-
berries also have other important contributors to nutrition, including vitamin
C, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B6, folic acid, dietary fiber, potassium, phos-
phorus, magnesium, calcium, and iron.
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... The US marketplace offers consumers a wide variety of fresh small fruits, and an even greater variety of products made from those fruits. After reports of small fruits being good sources of dietary phenolics [1, 2], some nutraceutical manufacturers offered more small fruit-based supplement products for their potential health benefits, although these benefits have yet to be clearly demonstrated [2,3,4,5]. The number of fruit-based dietary supplements targeted to increase consumers' anthocyanin intake has risen recently. ...
... The US marketplace offers consumers a wide variety of fresh small fruits, and an even greater variety of products made from those fruits. After reports of small fruits being good sources of dietary phenolics [1, 2], some nutraceutical manufacturers offered more small fruit-based supplement products for their potential health benefits, although these benefits have yet to be clearly demonstrated [2,3,4,5]. The number of fruit-based dietary supplements targeted to increase consumers' anthocyanin intake has risen recently. ...
... The number of fruit-based dietary supplements targeted to increase consumers' anthocyanin intake has risen recently. Unfortunately, there has also been increasing concern with many entries into this market due to adulteration , poor-quality source materials, and the lack of clinical trial evidence to substantiate products' claims [2,3,4,6]. While US dietary supplements are not regulated like conventional food and drugs, though the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994 requires the manufacture of them to follow Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP; 21CFR111). ...
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Rosaceae (strawberry, cherry, blackberry, red raspberry, and black raspberry) dietary supplements and food products (total n=74) were purchased and analyzed to determine their anthocyanin concentrations and profiles. Eight of the 33 dietary supplements had no detectable anthocyanins (five samples) or were adulterated with anthocyanins from unlabeled sources (three samples). Five of 41 food products contained no detectable anthocyanins. In mg per serving, the dietary supplements tested contained 0.02 to 86.27 (average 10.00), and food products contained 0.48 to 39.66 (average 7.76). Anthocyanin levels between the dietary supplements and food products were not significantly different in mg per serving. Individual anthocyanin profiles can be used to evaluate quality of Rosaceae food products and dietary supplements. These findings show that increasing anthocyanin content and reducing adulteration could improve the quality of Rosaceae products available in the marketplace.
... Past research on açai anthocyanin profiles were also used for peak identification [11,[24][25][26][27]. Our earlier work on black raspberry, strawberry, blackberry, cranberry, and red raspberry were used for confirming individual anthocyanin UV-VIS spectra, retention times, and peak identification [18][19][20][21]28]. Euterpe precatoria and E. edulis (the other common palm fruit genus and species) anthocyanin profiles were obtained from previously published work [27,[29][30][31]. ...
... The relatively low anthocyanin levels observed in this study could be due to açai fruit's natural high pH, compared to more common US small fruits. Açai fruit normal pH is around 5.0 (n = 3; [32]), which is not ideal for anthocyanin stability through processing and storage; for comparison, blackberry pH is between 2.6 and 3.9 (n = 73; [28]), which might be one reason some processors added citric acid (ALDS04 and ALFP04; Table 1). A naturally high microbial load on the surface of the açai fruit (furthered if the microbial load is not reduced after harvest) does not help with anthocyanin retention either [10,35]. ...
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The numbers of commercial products containing açai fruit have been rapidly increasing in the US marketplace. Due to the açai palm’s climatic requirements, the açai fruit portions of these products are imported, even when manufactured within the US. This work was conducted to assess the anthocyanin profiles and concentrations of açai products (total n=56; dietary supplements n=37; food products n=19) available to US consumers. Eleven (20%) of the products examined had problematic anthocyanin profiles; seven had no detectable anthocyanins (all were dietary supplements), and four had anthocyanin profiles inconsistent with natural ingredients (3 dietary supplements, 1 food item). The remaining samples (n=45) ranged widely in anthocyanin concentration, from 0.74 to 336.70 mg/100g or 100mL (average of 42.00), or 0.004 to 80.45 in mg/serving (average of 4.60). That range represented a 450-fold difference in anthocyanin concentration by mass (or volume), and 20,000-fold difference when calculated by serving. The açai dietary supplements (average 0.75 mg/serving) were significantly lower in anthocyanin than açai food products (average 10.38 mg/serving) on a mg per serving basis, an over 13-fold difference. Açai product anthocyanin values (in mg/100g or 100mL) were overall lower than what can be obtained from fresh or frozen elderberry, black raspberry, or blackberry.
... Введение. Ежевика -ценная ягодная культура с богатым биохимическим составом плодов, включающим высокое содержание веществ антиоксидантного действия и других важных для организма человека компонентов [1][2][3][4]. Однако в нашей стране она пока мало используется не только в промышленном, но и в любительском садоводстве, несмотря на растущий интерес к её сортам. В то же время в ряде стран мира ежевика признана одной из ведущих и экономически эффективных ягодных культур [5,6], благодаря созданию обширного сортимента, насчитывающего несколько сотен сортов. ...
... Blackberries bear fruit after most other berry crops, significantly extending the pipeline of vitamin products in the growing regions. Its fruits contain a significant amount of important biologically active substances of the antioxidant complex (Gruner, Anikeyenko, 1995;Connor et al., 2005;Kolbas et al., 2012;Milošević et al., 2012;Lee, 2017), which are involved in many processes of human metabolism (Kolbas et al., 2012). Their number is: from 500 to 900 mg/100 g of P-active substances-flavonoids (including 17 to 30 mg/100 g of ellagic acid and 85-390 mg/100 g of ellagotanins), from 10 to 50 mg/100 g of ascorbic acid, about 0.6 mg/100 g of carotenoids. ...
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This overview substantiates the possibility and expediency of blackberry breeding in Central Russia, where it is in demand, but not widespread in horticulture. Significant achievements of world breeding, which gave modern cultivars a large set of economically important qualities and growing interest in it all over the world, including Russian gardeners, make it relevant to work with blackberries as an object of selection, and as a promising garden plant. However, insufficient frost and winter hardiness of the bulk of the cultivars of this culture cause certain difficulties when growing it in the areas with cold winters to which the Central zone of Russia belongs. The expansion of the market of berry products also imposes increasingly high requirements on the complex of economic indicators of new cultivars, primarily the quality of blackberry fruit. In this regard, improving the existing range of varieties of the culture, increasing its adaptive properties and commodity qualities of berries are urgent tasks for breeders when creating new cultivars. The relevance of blackberry breeding is also dictated by the fact that in Russia its domestic range of varieties is represented by only one modern cultivar obtained in the southern region and adapted, first of all, to it. For the Central zone of the country, the cultivars of this plant have not been developed (except for the limited experiments of I.V. Michurin conducted almost 100 years ago). Therefore, the breeding of adapted cultivars of the culture in the climatic conditions of this region may be promising. It is also possible to grow here (with shelter for the winter) the cultivars already created abroad that can give with the right agricultural technology a good industrial harvest, which is confirmed by the practice of amateur and farm gardening, as well as scientific research. The purpose of this work is to designate the leading directions of blackberry breeding, the most important in the conditions of Central Russia and to show prospects of the development of new cultivars of this valuable culture in the specified climatic zone. The analysis of world trends and experience in the blackberry breeding and variety study, as well as the results of our own research of the culture conducted in the Orel region, allow us to consider it promising and relevant to work on improving the range of varieties of this plant in Central Russia. All priority areas of blackberry breeding, indicated in foreign and domestic breeding programs (winter hardiness, high quality of fresh and processed fruit, the correct shape of berries, their large size, the necessary values of biochemical composition, high productivity of plants, thornless shoots and high resistance to diseases and pests), are relevant for this region of our country, while high winter hardiness is currently the most important of them.
... Blackberries, in particular, have significantly higher concentrations of anthocyanins and other antioxidants than most other fruit (Halvorsen et al., 2006;Machado et al., 2015). Blackberries are also rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B6, folic acid, dietary fibre, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, calcium and iron that promote skin, bone, heart and brain health (Lee, 2017). More recent reports have indicated that antioxidant capacity determined from in vitro studies are not necessarily important bioactive compounds in human systems (Haytowitz and Bhagwat, 2010). ...
BACKGROUND Beneficial rhizobacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens N 21.4 and its metabolic elicitors were inoculated in commercial cultivars of blackberry plants (Rubus cv. Loch Ness). Phenolic compounds present in red and black fruit and expression of structural marker genes of the phenylpropanoids pathway during fruit ripening were studied. RESULTS An inverse relationship between gene expression and accumulation of metabolites was seen, except for RuDFR gene, which had a direct correlation with cyanidin 3‐O‐glucoside synthesis, increasing its content 1.3 times when Ru DFR was overexpressed in red fruit of plants inoculated with the metabolic elicitors of P. fluorescens N 21.4, compared to red fruit of plants inoculated with N 21.4. RuCHS gene had also a fundamental role in the accumulation of metabolites. Both rhizobacterium and metabolic elicitors triggered flavonoid metabolism enhancing the content of catechin, and epicatechin between 1.1 and 1.6 times in the case of red fruit and between 1.1 and 1.8 times in the case of black fruit. Both treatments also boosted anthocyanin and quercetin and kaempferol derivatives content, highlighting the effects of metabolic elicitors in red fruit and the effects of the alive rhizobacterium in black fruit. CONCLUSION Metabolic elicitors’ capacity to modulate gene expression and to increase secondary metabolites content was demonstrated, therefore, this work suggest them as effective, affordable, easy to manage and ecofriendly plant inoculants complementary or alternative to beneficial rhizobacteria. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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There is increased interest in berry fruits due to health benefits, and maintenance of fruit quality for longer periods of time has been a priority. We previously found that starch based coatings applied on raspberries was associated to volatile compounds production due to anoxic conditions. The objective of this work was to design more hydrophobic coatings with reduced thickness. A starch-beeswax dispersion containing 2 % (w/v) modified tapioca starch added with either 0.5 or 1.0 % (w/v) beeswax microparticles was produced, and used for spray coating freshly harvested blackberries (Rubus spp.). Coatings were air dried, packed in plastic trays and stored up to 16 days at 4 °C and 88 % relative humidity. Storage quality parameters such as hardness, respiration rate, anthocyanins content, total phenols, color changes and weight loss were evaluated. We did not find Interactions among coating ingredients, and incorporation of beeswax reduced moisture transfer rate. Coatings did not occlude the stomata and apparently did not over-hydrate the cuticle. This characteristic allowed appropriate gas exchange (O2 and CO2), and reduced accumulation of volatile compounds associated to fermentative metabolism. Respiration rates were 4.207 ± 0.157, 4.557 ± 0.220 and 4.780 ± 0.050 mmol CO2 kg(-1) h(-1) for control, 0.5 and 1 % of wax content in coatings, respectively. However, ethylene production increased throughout storage time along with beeswax concentration, indicating stressful conditions for the fruit. This trend appears to be related with changes in total phenols and anthocyanins during storage. Edible coatings based on starch and hydrophobic particles should be reformulated to maintain quality of stored berry fruits.
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‘Columbia Star’ is a new thornless, trailing blackberry (Rubus subg. Rubus Watson) cultivar from the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) breeding program in Corvallis, OR, released in cooperation with the Oregon State University’s Agricultural Experiment Station. We believe ‘Columbia Star’ is the first thornless blackberry to be released with the ‘Lincoln Logan’ source of thornless in its background other than the original ‘Lincoln Logan’ and ‘Waimate’ that have ‘Logan’-type fruit, and ‘Marahau’ that has ‘Boysen’ type fruit (Hall et al., 1986; Hall and Stephens, 1999; Fig. 1). ‘Columbia Star’ is introduced as a very high quality, high yielding, machine harvestable, thornless trailing blackberry with firm, sweet fruit that when processed are similar in quality to or better than fruit from the industry standards ‘Marion’ and ‘Black Diamond’. ‘Columbia Star’ should be adapted to areas where other trailing blackberries can be successfully grown. The name recognizes the Columbia River that has played such a role in the history and origin of the Pacific Northwest.
Luther Burbank, the quintessential nurseryman of the early 20th century, remarked that small fruit was the "Cinderella of the pomological family." He stated that although tree fruits had been improved to the point of an almost uncountable number of cultivars, it was the time and responsibility of his generation and those to follow to develop the small fruit for human consumption. Burbank had a penchant for detecting potential qualities of unusual plants and his broad association with plant explorers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and elsewhere allowed him to examine diverse wild berry species. He obtained seeds of many small fruit species from throughout the world. He made wide crosses within and between these genera and species. Burbank selected and named many cultivars to be introduced through his nursery and elsewhere. He named and released 40 blackberries, raspberries (Rubies L.), and strawberries (Fragaria L.); four grapes (Vitis L.); and a hybrid Solanum that he named 'Sunberry'. He sometimes exaggerated their descriptions for promotion or public recognition. For example, Rubus x loganobaccus 'Phenomenal' was, he stated, "far superior in size, quality, color, and productivity..." to 'Loganberry'. Unfortunately, this cultivar was not a commercial success. Burbank made a few crosses and sold what he considered to be improved species, e.g., 'Himalaya Giant' blackberry R. armeniacus). He created new common names for foreign species, e.g., balloon berry (R. illecebrosus) and Mayberry (R. palmatus), to better market them. However, his amazingly keen observations of thornlessness, pigment diversity, and recognition of repeat flowering and fruiting in blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries, were insightful of the needs of future industry. Burbank was a disciple of Darwin and his theory of natural selection. Burbank's classic breeding approach, to make wide crosses, produce large numbers of hybrid seedlings, choose significant seedlings with his traits of choice, and backcross to the desired parent for several generations, was successful, although he did not know of ploidy or gene recombination. Unfortunately, the 'Himalaya blackberry', now ubiquitous in hedgerows and fields throughout the Pacific Northwest in the United States, is designated as a federal noxious weed. Although not presently in commercial production, three of his Rubies cultivars ('Burbank Thornless', 'Snowbank', and 'Phenomenal') are preserved in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Clonal Germplasm Repository, in Corvallis, OR.
A broad range of anthocyanins (glycosides of cyanidin, pelargonidin, peonidin, delphinidin, malvidin, and petunidin) was identified and quantified in the fruit of 24 wild and cultivated berry species using HPLC-DAD-MS2. The anthocyanin composition in species of Ribes, Rubus, Vaccinium, and Fragaria genus as well as in less known species of Crataegus, Morus, Amelanchier, Sorbus, Sambucus and Aronia genus was determined. Cyanidin was the most commonly occurring anthocyanidin, meanwhile malvidin glycosides were only detected in blueberries. Glycosides of pelargonidin were detected in raspberries, strawberry, black mulberry and chokeberry. Peonidin glycosides were identified in hawthorn, black currant and gooseberry as well as in blueberry species. The richest species in the content of peonidin glycosides were blueberries. Delphinidin glycosides were the prevailing form of anthocyanins in black currant and bilberry. The highest total anthocyanin content was determined in dark colored fruit of cultivated elderberry and bilberry whereas light-colored dog rose and Chinese hawthorn fruit had the lowest anthocyanin content. The composition of anthocyanidin glycosides did not differ between the fruit of wild growing and cultivated species, but their contents were generally different.
The aim of this study was to identify and compare the contents of phenolic acids, tannins, anthocyanins, and flavonoid glycosides in thorny and thornless blackberries. Five thorny and nine thornless cultivars were used for this study. Thirty-five phenolic compounds were determined in the examined fruits, and one phenolic acid, three ellagic acid derivatives, one anthocyanin, and six flavonols were characterized for the first time in blackberries. The thornless fruits were characterized by a higher content of anthocyanins (mean = 171.23 mg/100 g FW), ellagitannins (mean = 3.65 mg/100 g FW), and ellagic acid derivatives (mean = 2.49 mg/100 g FW), in comparison to thorny ones. At the same time, in thorny fruits, the contents of hydroxycinnamic acids (mean = 1.42 mg/100 g FW) and flavonols (mean = 5.70 mg/100 g FW) were higher.
A Solid-Phase Microextraction method for the Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry analysis of blackberry (Rubus sp.) volatiles has been fully optimized by means of a Box-Behnken experimental design. The optimized operating conditions (Carboxen/Polydimethylsiloxane fiber coating, 66°C, 20min equilibrium time and 16min extraction time) have been applied to the characterization for the first time of the volatile composition of Rubus ulmifolius Schott blackberries collected in Italy and Spain. A total of 74 volatiles of different functionality were identified; esters and aliphatic alcohols were the predominant classes in both sample types. Methylbutanal (2.02-25.70%), ethanol (9.84-68.21%), 2,3-butanedione (2.31-14.71%), trans-2-hexenal (0.49-17.49%), 3-hydroxy-2-butanone (0.08-7.39%), 1-hexanol (0.56-16.39%), 1-octanol (0.49-10.86%) and methylbutanoic acid (0.53-21.48%) were the major compounds in most blackberries analyzed. Stepwise multiple regression analysis of semiquantitative data showed that only two variables (ethyl decanoate and ethyl acetate) were necessary for a successful differentiation of blackberries according to their harvest location. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Many studies have been conducted with regard to free radicals, oxidative stress and antioxidant activity of food, giving antioxidants a prominent beneficial role, but, recently many authors have questioned their importance, whilst trying to understand the mechanisms behind oxidative stress. Many scientists defend that regardless of the quantity of ingested antioxidants, the absorption is very limited, and that in some cases prooxidants are beneficial to human health. The detection of antioxidant activity as well as specific antioxidant compounds can be carried out with a large number of different assays, all of them with advantages and disadvantages. The controversy around antioxidant in vivo benefits has become intense in the past few decades and the present review tries to shed some light on research on antioxidants (natural and synthetic) and prooxidants, showing the potential benefits and adverse effects of these opposing events, as well as their mechanisms of action and detection methodologies. It also identifies the limitations of antioxidants and provides a perspective on the likely future trends in this field.
Although information is available regarding the content of various metabolites such as sugars and organic/ amino acids in blackberry (Rubus L.), little is known about its enzyme composition. The aim of this study was to investigate changes in the abundance of various enzymes during the ripening of blackberry. Blackberry is an aggregate fruit, composed of a receptacle and several drupelets attached to it, which in turn, are composed of the flesh (mesocarp plus epicarp) and seed enclosed in the endocarp; therefore, these parts were analyzed separately along with the pedicel. The enzymes studied participate in organic/amino acid and sugar metabolism and photosynthesis, processes known to be important in fruit development. These enzymes were phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase [PEPCK (EC:], phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase [PEPC (EC:], pyruvate, orthophosphate dikinase [PPDK (EC:], cytosolic aspartate aminotransferase [cyt AspAT (EC:], aldolase (EC:, glutamine synthetase [GS (EC:], and ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase [RUBISCO (EC:]. To avoid problems in measuring enzyme activity, the approach taken was to use antibodies specific for each enzyme in conjunction with immunoblotting of sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. During ripening, there were marked changes in abundance of several of these enzymes and these changes were dependent on the tissue investigated. PEPCK appeared when organic acids decreased in the flesh and was only detected in this tissue, whereas PPDK was not detected in any tissue. In the flesh, there was a large decrease in abundance of RUBISCO, plastidic GS, and plastidic aldolase, but little change in cytosolic GS, cytosolic aldolase, and PEPC. In seeds, there was a decrease in the abundance of all enzymes. In the receptacle and pedicel, apart from a large decrease in RUBISCO in the receptacle, there was little change in enzyme abundance.
Three phenotypes for urolithins production after ellagitannins and ellagic acid intake are consistently observed in different human intervention trials. Subjects can be stratified into three urolithin-producing groups. 'Phenotype A' produced only urolithin A conjugates, which included between 25-80% of the volunteers in the different trials. 'Phenotype B' produced isourolithin A and/or urolithin B in addition to urolithin A, this being the second relevant group (10-50%). 'Phenotype 0' (5-25%) was that in which these urolithins were not detected. The three phenotypes were observed independently of the volunteers' health status and demographic characteristics (age, gender, BMI (Body Mass Index)) and of the amount or type of ellagitannin food source ingested (walnuts and other nuts, strawberries, raspberries and other berries or pomegranates). Interestingly, a higher percentage of phenotype B was observed in those volunteers with chronic illness (metabolic syndrome or colorectal cancer) associated with gut microbial imbalance (dysbiosis). These urolithin phenotypes could show differences in the human gut microbiota and should be considered in intervention trials dealing with health benefits of ellagitannins or ellagic acid. Whether this phenotypic variation could be a biomarker related to differential health benefits or illness predisposition deserves further research.