Antioxidants in raspberry: on-line analysis links antioxidant activity to a diversity of individual metabolites

J Agric Food Chem. 2005 May 4;53(9):3313-20. doi: 10.1021/jf047880b.


The presence of antioxidant compounds can be considered as a quality parameter for edible fruit. In this paper, we studied the antioxidant compounds in raspberry (Rubus idaeus) fruits by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) coupled to an on-line postcolumn antioxidant detection system. Both developmental and genetic factors were assessed by comparing fruits from a single cultivar of different ripening stages and by comparing ripe fruits of 14 raspberry cultivars, respectively. The HPLC-separated antioxidant compounds were identified using HPLC-photodiode array coupled to mass spectrometry (quadrupole time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry), using a reference lock mass for determining accurate masses. The dominant antioxidants could be classified as anthocyanins, ellagitannins, and proanthocyanidin-like tannins. During fruit ripening, some anthocyanins were newly produced, while others, like cyanidin-3-glucoside, were already present early in fruit development. The level of tannins, both ellagitannins and proanthocyanidin-like tannins, was reduced strongly during fruit ripening. Among the 14 cultivars, major differences (>20-fold) were observed in the levels of pelagonidin type anthocyanins and some proanthocyanidin type tannins. The content of ellagitannins varied approximately 3-fold. The findings presented here suggest that the content of individual health-promoting compounds varies significantly in raspberry, due to both developmental and genetic factors. This information will assist in the future development and identification of raspberry lines with enhanced health-promoting properties.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Anthocyanins / analysis
  • Antioxidants / analysis*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods*
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Fruit / growth & development
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Rosaceae / chemistry*
  • Rosaceae / genetics
  • Rosaceae / growth & development
  • Species Specificity
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization
  • Spectrophotometry
  • Tannins / analysis


  • Anthocyanins
  • Antioxidants
  • Tannins