Oxygen radical absorbing capacity of phenolics in blueberries, cranberries, chokeberries, and lingonberries

J Agric Food Chem. 2003 Jan 15;51(2):502-9. doi: 10.1021/jf020728u.


The antioxidant activity of phenolics in fruits of blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum cv. Sierra), cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon cv. Ben Lear), wild chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa), and lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea cv. Amberland) was determined in this study. The phenolic constituents and contents among the different berries varied considerably. Anthocyanins were found to be the main components in all these berries. Chlorogenic acid in blueberry, quercetin glycosides in cranberry and lingonberry, and caffeic acid and its derivative in chokeberry were also present in relatively high concentrations. Chlorogenic acid, peonidin 3-galactoside, cyanidin 3-galactoside, and cyanidin 3-galactoside were the most important antioxidants in blueberry, cranberry, wild chokeberry, and lingonberry, respectively. The contribution of individual phenolics to the total antioxidant capacity was generally dependent on their structure and content in the berries. Phenolics such as quercetin and cyanidin, with 3',4'-dihydroxy substituents in the B ring and conjugation between the A and B rings, had highly effective radical scavenging structures in blueberries, cranberries, chokeberries, and lingonberries. Phenolic acids such as caffeic acid also showed high antioxidant activity, probably due to its dihydroxylation in the 3,4 positions as hydrogen donors.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Absorption
  • Anthocyanins / analysis
  • Anthocyanins / chemistry
  • Antioxidants / analysis
  • Antioxidants / chemistry*
  • Blueberry Plants / chemistry*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Flavonoids / analysis
  • Flavonoids / chemistry
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Phenols / chemistry*
  • Rosaceae / chemistry*
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Vaccinium vitis-idaea / chemistry*


  • Anthocyanins
  • Antioxidants
  • Flavonoids
  • Phenols