The composition of carotenoids, chlorophyll derivatives and tocopherols in raspberries of different varieties, including yellow and red varieties, over different ripening stages has been studied. The profile of pigments in ripening raspberries changes drastically, with a dramatic decrease of β-carotene and chlorophyll derivatives, the xanthophyll lutein has also decreased but not to the same extent. In contrast esterified lutein increased and is present in ripe raspberries esterified with saturated fatty acids with C8-C16 chains. Ripe raspberries contain considerable amounts of free lutein, esterified lutein, and tocopherols (up to 20, 49 and 366 mg/kg dry weight, respectively). The different samples analysed show different contents of carotenoids and tocopherols. Whether the differences arise from the variety or other factors such as the environmental conditions needs to be ascertained but isoprenoids should not be neglected when considering raspberry antioxidant and nutraceutical composition.
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