Fruit quality, antioxidant capacity, and flavonoid content of organically and conventionally grown blueberries

J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Jul 23;56(14):5788-94. doi: 10.1021/jf703775r. Epub 2008 Jul 1.


The effect of cultivation practices on fruit quality and antioxidant capacity in highbush blueberries var. Bluecrop (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) was evaluated from random samples of commercial late harvest fields in New Jersey. Results from this study showed that blueberry fruit grown from organic culture yielded significantly higher sugars (fructose and glucose), malic acid, total phenolics, total anthocyanins, and antioxidant activity (ORAC) than fruit from the conventional culture. In organically cultured fruit, the average values for the ORAC, total anthocyanins, and total phenolic content were 46.14 micromol of Trolox (TE)/g of fresh weight (fwt), 131.2 mg/100 g of fwt, and 319.3 mg/100 g of fwt, respectively. In conventionally cultured fruit, the average values for the ORAC, total anthocyanin, and total phenol content were 30.8 micromol of TE/g of fwt, 82.4 mg/100 g of fwt, and 190.3 mg/100 g of fwt, respectively. The organic culture also produced fruit with higher contents of myricetin 3-arabinoside, quercetin 3-glucoside, delphinidin 3-galactoside, delphinidin 3-glucoside, delphinidin 3-arabinoside, petunidin 3-galactoside, petunidin 3-glucoside, and malvidin 3-arabinoside than conventional culture. There was a significant correlation between the ORAC values and total phenolics and total anthocyanins. These results indicate that even though there were variations in phytonutrient content among individual farms within each cultural system, significant differences between two cultivation practices were evident.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture / methods*
  • Anthocyanins / analysis
  • Antioxidants / analysis*
  • Blueberry Plants / chemistry*
  • Blueberry Plants / growth & development*
  • Flavonoids / analysis*
  • Food, Organic / analysis*
  • Nutritive Value
  • Quality Control


  • Anthocyanins
  • Antioxidants
  • Flavonoids