Anthocyanins, phenolics, and antioxidant capacity in diverse small fruits: vaccinium, rubus, and ribes

J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Jan 30;50(3):519-25. doi: 10.1021/jf011062r.


Fruits from 107 genotypes of Vaccinium L., Rubus L., and Ribes L., were analyzed for total anthocyanins (ACY), total phenolics (TPH), and antioxidant capacities as determined by oxygen radical absorbing capacity (ORAC) and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP). Fruit size was highly correlated (r = 0.84) with ACY within Vaccinium corymbosum L., but was not correlated to ACY across eight other Vaccinium species, or within 27 blackberry hybrids. Certain Vaccinium and Ribes fruits with pigmented flesh were lower in ACY, TPH, ORAC, and FRAP compared to those values in berries with nonpigmented flesh. ORAC values ranged from 19 to 131 micromol Trolox equivalents/g in Vaccinium, from 13 to 146 in Rubus, and from 17 to 116 in Ribes. Though ACY may indicate TPH, the range observed in ACY/TPH ratios precludes prediction of ACY from TPH and vice versa for a single genotype. In general, TPH was more highly correlated to antioxidant capacity than ACY was. This study demonstrates the wide diversity of phytochemical levels and antioxidant capacities within and across three genera of small fruit.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Anthocyanins / analysis*
  • Antioxidants / analysis*
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Fruit / genetics
  • Genotype
  • Hydroxybenzoates / analysis*
  • Magnoliopsida / chemistry
  • Magnoliopsida / genetics
  • Rosaceae / chemistry
  • Rosaceae / genetics
  • Vaccinium / chemistry
  • Vaccinium / genetics


  • Anthocyanins
  • Antioxidants
  • Hydroxybenzoates
  • phenolic acid