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Antioxidants in Midwestern black raspberries influenced by production site
Date:2/26/2009

WOOSTER, OHBlack raspberries have been studied for decades by scientists and medical researchers interested in the fruits' apparent ability to limit the onset or severity of degenerative diseases, including cancer.

The fruit of many popular berries, including blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, elderberries, grapes, and plums, are known to have strong antioxidant capacity, mainly as a result of high levels of anthocyaninschemicals that give plants their vibrant colorsand other phenolic compounds. The darker the fruit, the more anthocyanins are present. Anthocyanins appear to work by inhibiting compounds that weaken the immune system and stimulate tissue inflammation. They can also destroy harmful free-radical molecules that attack cells and cause aging, heart disease, and cancer.

The prospective health benefits of black raspberries and other antioxidant-rich produce has led to increased consumer awareness and demand for fresh, locally produced fruit.

A research study presented in the journal HortScience was designed to determine whether where black raspberries are grown influences the antioxidant level in the berries. The research group, headed by Mustafa Ozgen from the Department of Horticulture at Gaziosmanpa University, Tokat, Turkey, included Faith J. Wyzgoski, The Ohio State University at Mansfield, Artemio Z. Tulio, Jr., Aparna Gazula, A. Raymond Miller, and Joseph C. Scheerens from the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, R. Neil Reese from South Dakota State University, and Shawn R. Wright of The Ohio State University South Centers.

To estimate variability in phytonutritional quality of black raspberries, the researchers studied 19 samples representing four common Midwestern black raspberry cultivars harvested from eight production sites. Samples were frozen within 24 h of harvest in on-farm, conventional freezers. These materials were transported in their frozen state to the Ohio Agricultu
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Contact: Michael W. Neff
mwneff@ashs.org
703-836-4606
American Society for Horticultural Science
Source:Eurekalert  

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