Chemical composition, phenolics, and firmness of small black fruits

  • I. Ochmian
  • J. Oszmiański
  • K. Skupień


Black fruits either cultivated as chokeberry (Aronia melaanocarpa (Michx) Elliot), highbush blueberry 'Duke' (Vaccinium corymbosum L.), lowbush blueberry 'Putte' (Vaccinium corymbosum x Vaccinium angustifolium), and blue honeysuckle (Lonicera caerulea L.), or collected in the wild as bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.), elderberry (Sambucus nigra L.), and wild blackberry (Rubus sp. L.) were assayed for nutritionally valuable components and phenolic composition. On fresh weight basis, lowest acidity was found for elderberry (0.83 g citric acid/l00 g) and the highest for honeysuckle 2.86 g citric acid/ 100 g. Soluble solids content ranged from 16.0% (chokeberry) to 7.4% (blackberry). Honeysuckle berries showed the highest content of L-ascorbic acid (47 mg/100 g), while bilberries the lowest (7 mg/100 g). The berries also showed a disparate firmness ranging from 86 G/mm (bilberry) to 498 G/mm (chokeberry). Regarding total  henol, chokeberry and bilberry were predominant amounting 672.4 mg/100 g and 639.7 mg/100 g, respectively. Moreover, bilberry had the highest amount of anthocyanins (619.6 mg/100 g) and flavonoids (630.2 mg/l 00 g). The highest concentration of flavonols was observed for lowbush blueberry 'Putte' (35.2 mg/100 g), whereas, phenolic acids for chokeberry (121.9 mg/100 g). In contrast, the lowest total phenol was recorded for blackberry (137.8 mg/100 g) due to the low level of anthocyanins (129.4 mg/100 g), flavonols (5.1 mg/100 g), and phenolic acids (3.3 mg/100 g). Cyanidin 3-glucoside was the only anthocyanin occurring in the all species. The presence of chlorogenic acid and quercetin 3-glucoside was detected in the all berries except for blackberries. The 2-year study comparing black fruits of seven species out of different genera demonstrates their high nutritional value and health-promoting potential.