Antioxidant activity in fruits and leaves of blackberry, raspberry, and strawberry varies with cultivar and developmental stage

J Agric Food Chem. 2000 Feb;48(2):140-6. doi: 10.1021/jf9908345.


Fruits and leaves from different cultivars of thornless blackberry (Rubus sp.), red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.), black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis L.), and strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa D.) plants were analyzed for total antioxidant capacity (oxygen radical absorbance capacity, ORAC) and total phenolic content. In addition, fruits were analyzed for total anthocyanin content. Blackberries and strawberries had the highest ORAC values during the green stages, whereas red raspberries had the highest ORAC activity at the ripe stage. Total anthocyanin content increased with maturity for all three species of fruits. Compared with fruits, leaves were found to have higher ORAC values. In fruits, ORAC values ranged from 7.8 to 33.7 micromol of Trolox equivalents (TE)/g of fresh berries (35. 0-162.1 micromol of TE/g of dry matter), whereas in leaves, ORAC values ranged from 69.7 to 182.2 micromol of TE/g of fresh leaves (205.0-728.8 micromol of TE/g of dry matter). As the leaves become older, the ORAC values and total phenolic contents decreased. The results showed a linear correlation between total phenolic content and ORAC activity for fruits and leaves. For ripe berries, a linear relationship existed between ORAC values and anthocyanin content. Of the ripe fruits tested, on the basis of wet weight of fruit, cv. Jewel black raspberry and blackberries may be the richest source for antioxidants. On the basis of the dry weight of fruit, strawberries had the highest ORAC activity followed by black raspberries (cv. Jewel), blackberries, and red raspberries.

MeSH terms

  • Anthocyanins / analysis
  • Antioxidants / analysis*
  • Free Radicals
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Fruit / growth & development
  • Phenols / analysis
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Plant Leaves / growth & development


  • Anthocyanins
  • Antioxidants
  • Free Radicals
  • Phenols