Specific Studies

  • Haskap: A New Berry Crop With High Antioxidant Capacity by H.P. Vasantha Rupasinghe, Ph.D Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Fruit Bioactives & BioProducts Department of Environmental Sciences, Nova Scotia Agricultural College, Truro, Nova Scotia, February 27, 2012

This study evaluated the antioxidant capacity and total phenolic content as well as
total flavonoid content of three haskap cultivars, ‘Borealis’, ‘Indigo Gem 915’ and
‘Tundra’ grown in Saskatchewan with comparison to six other commercial fruits using
ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assay, oxygen radical absorbance capacity
(ORAC) assay, the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) free radical scavenging assay,
the aluminum chloride colorimetric method and the Folin-Ciocalteu (FC) method,
respectively. The results indicated that haskap berries, especially cv. ‘Borealis’ possessed
the highest antioxidant capacities and total phenolic contents, specifically total flavonoid
among the tested fruits and could be used as a promising fruit source of natural dietary
antioxidants. The nutritional values of the fruits were also assessed using proximate
analysis. Strawberry possessed the highest amount of most minerals and nutrients
whereas the nutritional values for the three haskap cultivars were among the average.
Further investigations can be recommended for understanding the specific heath
promoting properties of haskap grown in Canada and potential for developing unique
functional foods, value-added food ingredients and natural health products.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the antioxidant and free radical scavenging properties of anthocyanin extracts from three berries (Lonicera caerulea var. edulis, Vaccinium uliginosum Linn. and Rubus idaeus). The anthocyanins extracted were found to show remarkable scavenging activity on 2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical, 2,2′-azinobis-(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS)-radical, hydroxyl radical (•OH) and superoxide anion radical (•O2 ). The effect of these three anthocyanins on their reducing power increases in a dose dependent manner. The results obtained in the present study indicate that the three anthocyanins can be a potential source for natural antioxidant activity.

Blue honeysuckle berries are an excellent source of dietary phytochemicals such as anthocyanins and polyphenolics, being comparable to Vaccinium, Rubus, and Ribes fruits. The use of blue honeysuckle as natural antioxidants, natural colorants, and an ingredient of functional foods seems to be promising.

The total content of phenolic acids, identified by GC-MS, ranged from 2845.8 ( 141.0 (black mulberries) to 5418.2 ( 228.0 (blue-berried honeysuckle).

BHE [blue honeysuckle extract] attenuates the degree of inflammation in eyes with EIU by inhibiting the NF-kB dependent signaling pathway and the subsequent production of proinflammatory mediators.

Lonicera caerulea berries contain 7.20 % saccharides, 1.52 % lipids, 14.62 % dry matter, 12.2 % organic acids and 4 % phenolics, containing 33.5 % of phenolics, including anthocyanins (18.5 %), flavonoids and phenolic acids. The major anthocyanins in L. caerulea fruit are glucosides and rutinosides of cyanidin, peonidin, dephinidin and pelargonidin. These berries seem to be prospective sources of health supporting phytochemicals that exhibit beneficial activities such as anti-adherence, antioxidant and chemoprotective, thus they may provide protection against a number of chronic conditions, e.g. cancer, diabetes mellitus, tumor growth or cardiovascular diseases. These plants can be cultivated in European climatic conditions and therefore are a suitable source of economically accessible nutraceutical preparations.

  • Survey of bioactive components in Western Canadian berries, Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, 2007, 85:1139-1152, 10.1139/Y07-102 byAnna M. Bakowska-Barczak,a Myles Marianchuk,b Paul KolodziejczykbaOlds College School of Innovations, Olds College, 4500 50 Street, Olds, AB T4H 1R6, Canada; D’nA Garden, Elnora, AB T0M 0Y0, Canada; Fruits, Vegetables and Grain Technology Department, Agricultural University, Wroclaw, ul. Norwida 25, 50-375 Wroclaw, Poland.bOlds College School of Innovations, Olds College, 4500 50 Street, Olds, AB T4H 1R6, Canada.
    (email: abakowska@oldscollege.ca)

Berries native to Western Canada were analyzed for total anthocyanins, total phenolics, and trolox equivalent antioxidant activity (TEAC). Values ranged fro 1.60 to 9.55 mmol trolox equivalent per 100 g fresh mass. Anthocyanin content ranged from 41.6 (in red twinberries) to 1081 mg cyanidin-3-glucoside equivalents per 100 g fresh mass (in honey-suckle fruits). Honeysuckle fruits contained the highest amount of total polyphenols, 1111 mg gallic acid equivalents per 100 g, among analyzed fruits. Additionally, anthocyanins in the investigated berries were identified and characterized by HPLC – electrospray ionization – tandem mass spectrometric method coupled with diode array detection. The number of anthocyanins varied from 4 in saskatoon berries (Amelanchier alnifolia Nutt.) to 20 in bilberries (Vaccinum myrtilloides Michx.). In all the samples analyzed, 6 common anthocyanidins:, cyanidin, delphinidin, pelargonidin, petunidin, peonidin, and malvidin, were found. Half the analyzed berries contained acylated anthocyanins, but a significant amount was found only in bilberries. The analyzed berry seed oils contained high amounts of unsaturated fatty acids (over 90%), but only the golden currant seed oil contained g-linolenic acid.

L. caerulea berries seem to be a prospective source of health supporting phytochemicals, especially phenolic compounds that exhibit beneficial activities such as antiadherence, antioxidant, and chemoprotective. Thus, natural antioxidants, natural colorants, and an ingredient of functional foods based on L. caerulea berries look promising as a useful addition in the prevention of a number of chronic conditions, e.g., cancer, diabetes mellitus, tumor growth, and cardiovascular diseases.

It was observed that Chinese hawthorn and Blue honeysuckle extracts are potent source of neuroprotective phenolic antioxidants. In accordance the results, it appears that the fruit or formulated products may have the potential for the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases.

L. caerulea berries are a rich source of phenolics such as phenolic acids as well as anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins and flavonoids, which show health promoting effects. The consumption of L. caerulea berries may prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases and cancer, depending on the content of phenolics in the berries.

The potential of L. caerulea berries to prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases and cancer seems to be related to their phenolics content.

The aim of our work was to investigate the in vivo effects of the antioxidant action of Lonicera caerulea berry extracts on the dynamics of experimentally-induced tumors. Our data showed that aqueous Lonicera caerulaea extracts reduced the tumor volume when administered continuously during the tumor growth and development stages, but augmented the tumor growth when the administration of extracts started three weeks before tumor grafting. Prolonged administration of Lonicera caerulaea berry extracts induced the antioxidant defense mechanism in the tumor tissues, while surprisingly amplifying the peripheral oxidative stress.

The polyphenolic fraction of L. caerulea fruit was also able to reduce most studied alterations induced by LPS in gingival fibroblasts, particularly markers related to oxidative stress and inflammation. In addition to our findings, a recent study has shown that the freeze-dried fruit of L. caerulea and its phenolic fraction (the same as we used in this study) was able to reduce the biofilm formation and adhesion to the artificial surface of some bacteria such as E. coli and Staphylococcus epidermis (Palikova et al., 2008). Taken together, the phenolic fraction of L. caerulea fruit may be beneficial for the adjunctive treatment of periodontitis as an agent for attenuation the inflammatory process.

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