Bioactive polyphenols in leaves, stems, and berries of Saskatoon (Amelanchier alnifolia Nutt.) cultivars

J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Feb 1;60(4):1020-7. doi: 10.1021/jf204056s. Epub 2012 Jan 23.


The Saskatoon berry is currently cultivated in many parts of the world for its suitability for various food products and due to its high content of nutrients and polyphenols. To determine the phytochemical profile of a Saskatoon plant, polyphenols from leaves, stems, and berries were screened from four cultivars grown in Finland using HPLC-DAD and HPLC-ESI/MS. The phenolic composition and concentrations varied among plant parts and cultivars. The main berry components were cyanidin-based anthocyanins (63% of the phenols), quercetin-derived flavonol glycosides, and hydroxycinnamic acids. The total anthocyanin content varied between 258.7 and 517.9 mg/100 fresh weight among cultivars. Protocatechuic acid was found for the first time in Saskatoon berries. The leaves consisted of quercetin- and kaempferol-derived glycosides (41% of the phenols), hydroxycinnamic acids (36%), catechins, and some neolignans. Quercetin 3-galactoside and 3-glucoside, (-)-epicatechin, and chlorogenic acid were the main phenolics in the leaves of all cultivars. The stem components were flavanone and flavonol glycosides (55% of the phenols), catechins (38%), and hydroxybenzoic acids. Concentrations of the main compound, eriodictyol 7-glucoside, varied among cultivars from 3.3 to 6.5 mg/g of stem dry weight. Very high proanthocyanidin contents were found in stems and leaves (10-14% of dry biomass), whereas berries contained a low amount of proanthocyanidins (3% of dry biomass). The findings reveal that leaves and stems of Saskatoon cultivars possess high amounts of various phenolic compounds that may offer new functional raw materials for a wide range of food and health products.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Coumaric Acids / analysis*
  • Finland
  • Flavonoids / analysis
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry*
  • Plant Stems / chemistry*
  • Polyphenols / analysis*
  • Rosaceae / chemistry*
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization


  • Coumaric Acids
  • Flavonoids
  • Polyphenols