Seasonal and yearly variation of total polyphenols, total anthocyanins and ellagic acid in different clones of cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus L.)
Cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus L.) is a wild perennial shrub growing on peatland with a circumpolar distribution. The combined berries have a high polyphenol content comprised primarily of ellagitannins. A few commercial cultivars are available, and pre-breeding trials on clonal material from different geographical origins are in progress. The objective of this study was to investigate how the content of polyphenols of four different cloudberry cultivars were affected by harvesting time and climatic variations during a 3-year-period. Plants were grown outside in plots and berries were harvested when mature. Berries were analyzed for total polyphenols and total anthocyanins by spectrophotometer. Total ellagic acid was identified and quantified using HPLC-MS after hydrolysis of the extracts. Results showed that all measured parameters; total anthocyanins, total polyphenols and ellagic acid are strongly influenced by the genetic background. Although low anthocyanin contents were present in all genotypes, they were highly affected by climatic conditions, being highest at low temperatures. However, the content of ellagic acid was less affected by environmental conditions and showed little response to changing temperatures. In conclusion, ellagitannin content was the most dominating polyphenol group observed in this study and was affected by genetics and is therefore a good breeding criterion for increased health benefit of cloudberry.
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