Physicochemical and Bioactive Characteristics of Wild Grown Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) Genotypes from Northeastern Turkey
AbstractIn present study, fruit weight, fruit firmness, external fruit color, soluble solid content, pH, titratable acidity, vitamin C, total phenolics, total anthocyanins, and antioxidant capacity of eight wild bilberry grown in Coruh valley in northeastern Turkey were determined. The blueberry cv. ‘Bluecrop’ is also included study to make comparison with bilberry genotypes. Antioxidant activity of bilberry and blueberry fruits were comparatively assessed by FRAP (Ferric reducing antioxidant power) assay. Significantly higher content of phenolics and anthocyanins was found in bilberry fruits than in blueberry fruits. However blueberry cv. ‘Bluecrop’ exhibited higher fruit weight and vitamin C content than bilberry fruits. Total phenolic and total anthocyanin content was 327 mg gallic acid equivalent and 142 mg of cyanidin-3-glucoside equivalent in 100 g fresh fruit in cv. ‘Bluecrop’ while it was between 492-563 mg gallic acid equaivalent and 307-342 mg of cyanidin-3-glucoside equivalent in 100 g fresh fruits of bilberry accessions. Moreover, wild accessions approximately had 2-3 folds higher antioxidant capacity than cv. ‘Bluecrop’. Results suggest the possibility of improving the bioactive and antioxidant properties of bilberry cultivars based food products by using wild ones in cross breeding. It was also concluded that genotypes significantly affect their bioactive content and consequently the possibility of using wild bilberry fruits as a potential source of natural antioxidants in food industry.
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