Berries from South America: a comprehensive review on chemistry, health potential, and commercialization

J Med Food. 2010 Apr;13(2):233-46. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2009.0233.


Dietary intake of berry fruits has been demonstrated to positively impact human health. Interest in exploring new and exotic types of berries has grown in recent years. This article provides botanical descriptions and reviews the chemistry, biological activities, and commercialization of berry-producing plants from South America, specifically Aristotelia chilensis, Euterpe oleracea, Malpighia emarginata, Ugni molinae, Fragaria chiloensis, Rubus glaucus, Rubus adenotrichus, and Vaccinium floribundum. These species possess a rich and diversified composition of bioactive compounds with health-promoting properties. The most significant health benefits have been attributed to phenolic compounds and vitamin C, potentially protective against cardiovascular disease and cancer. Although both traditional folk medicine and composition of these berries suggest significant health benefits, few studies to date have investigated these potentials.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Ascorbic Acid / economics
  • Ascorbic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Commerce
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Magnoliopsida / chemistry*
  • Medicine, Traditional
  • Phenols / economics
  • Phenols / pharmacology*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Preparations / chemistry*
  • Plant Preparations / economics
  • Plant Preparations / pharmacology*
  • South America


  • Phenols
  • Plant Preparations
  • Ascorbic Acid