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Nutritional quality of berries and bioactive compounds in the leaves of black currant (Ribes nigrum L.) cultivars evaluated in Estonia


Polli Horticultural Research Centre (58°7′N;25°32′E) in Estonia has focused on selecting cultivars with high productivity and suitable to use in local climatic conditions since 1945. Besides important agronomic characteristics, more attention has been recently paid to fruit quality and content of various bioactive compounds. The results of a biochemical analysis of 4 prospective black currant selections (10B, 2-96-51, 1-96-16, 4-96-1), 4 new cultivars (‘Karri’, ‘Almo’, ‘Ats’, ‘Elo’) from our own breeding program and 7 introduced cultivars (‘Öjebyn’, ‘Zagadka’, ‘Ben Sarek’, ‘Intercontinental’, ‘Pamyati Vavilova’, ‘Titania’ and ‘Pilenai’) are presented. In addition to the analysis of main biochemical characteristics, the anthocyanin content of the berries was determined using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The total anthocyanin content of the berries varied in a wide range. The highest anthocyanin content was found in the cultivar ‘Almo’ (212 ± 9 mg/100 g) and the lowest in ‘Ben Sarek’ (83 ± 24 mg/100 g). The ascorbic acid content varied from 98 mg/100 g with ‘Ats’ to 209 mg/100 g with elite selection 4-96-1. The polyphenol composition of the black currant leaves was determined by HPLC, the compounds were identified using polyphenol commercial standards and/or compounds mass spectrometric (MS) characteristics.