Aronia melanocarpa berries: phenolics composition and antioxidant properties changes during fruit development and ripening
Aronia melanocarpa E. (black chokeberry, aronia) is cultivated in Poland, the USA, Korea and many other countries worldwide. It is known that its ripening and ripe berries are a very rich source of polyphenolic antioxidants, however, there is no data concerning unripe fruits. In this work, the changes in the content of anthocyanins, procyanidins, total polyphenols, flavonoids and antioxidant activity (measured with ORAC and DPPH-EPR tests) of Aronia melanocarpa E., Nero cultivar, during the whole fruit development and ripening period were studied. The highest content of total polyphenols (up to 20 g/100 g d.w.), procyanidins (10-15 g/100 g d.w.) and flavonoids (7-11 g/100 g d.w.) as well as the highest antioxidant activity (up to 100 mmol Trolox/100 g d.w.) was observed for unripe fruits. Procyanidins content declined during fruit development and then increased slightly in later maturation stages. Anthocyanin biosynthesis initiated at the beginning of fruit ripening and reached the highest level (2-3 g/100g d.w.) in mature fruit. Thus, although as for now only ripe berries are processed to obtain juice and extracts for foods, our results suggest that green berries rich in procyanidins and other phenolics may be an interesting raw plant material for both food and pharmaceutical industries.
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