Reference Number: 155
This study characterizes biologically active compounds of berry fruits, including non-nutritive compounds such as phenolic compounds, including anthocyanins, phenolic acids, stilbens and tannins, as well as nutritive compounds such as carotenoids and vitamin C. It discusses the biological activity of those compounds, in particular their antioxidant properties and the resulting health benefits.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS STUDY
Berry fruits, such as bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), blackberry (Rubus fruticosus), blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum), blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum), chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa), cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon), grape (Vitis vinifera), raspberry (Rubus idaeus) and strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa) are a particularly rich source of antioxidants. These compounds are mainly represented by vitamin C and polyphenols such as anthocyanins, phenolic acids, flavanols, flavonols and tannins. Anthocyanins occupy a special place in the group of polyphenols found in berry fruits. These polyphenols are mainly responsible for the dark colour of many berries. A high concentration of anthocyanins is reported in berries such as blueberries, blackcurrants, black grapes and blackberries. The review outlines the main health benefits of berries. The most significant health benefits are ascribed to phenolic compounds and vitamin C. Owing to the rich and diversified composition of bioactive compounds and their health-promoting properties which result mostly from their antioxidant activity, berry fruits are widely recognized as natural functional foods.