Identification of Flavonoid and Phenolic Antioxidants in Black Currants, Blueberries, Raspberries, Red Currants, and Cranberries

The antioxidant capacity (AOC) of black currant, blueberry, raspberry, red currant, and cranberry extracts was determined using the FRAP assay. In addition, the vitamin C content of the berries was determined and phenolic and polyphenolic compounds in the extracts were analyze by reversed-phase HPLC-PDA-MS<sup>3</sup> and by reversed-phase HPLC-PDA with an online antioxidant detection system. A complex spectrum of anthocyanins was the major contributor to the AOC of black currants and blueberries, whereas the lower AOC of red currants and cranberries was due mainly to a reduced anthocyanin content. Raspberries also had a lower anthocyanin content than black currants and blueberries, but there was only a slight decline in the AOC because of the presence of the ellagitannins sanguin H-6 and lambertianin C, which were responsible for 58% of the HPLC-AOC of the berries. Vitamin C was responsible for 18−23% of the HPLC-AOC of black currants, red currants, and cranberries and for 11% of that of raspberries but did not contribute to the AOC of the blueberry extract that was examined. Seven percent of the HPLC-AOC of the cranberry extract was attributable to procyanidin dimers. However, the contribution of polymeric proanthocyanidins to the AOC of the five berries was not determined as when analyzed by reversed-phase HPLC these high molecular weight flavan-3-ols are either retained by the column or eluted as a broad unresolved band.