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Phenotypic diversity in antioxidant phytochemical composition among fruits from several genotypes of red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.)


The Pacific Northwest in North America, Russia, and Eastern Europe are three major regions of commercial raspberry production worldwide. In British Columbia, Canada, most raspberries are produced for machine harvesting and processing, while some are selected for the fresh market. Due to increasing public awareness of the benefits of consuming antioxidants for improving human health, breeding of functional foods based on phytochemical composition pyramided with other economically important traits in raspberry is desirable. In this study, genotypes of raspberry destined for the fresh market or processing were each investigated for ascorbic acid and anthocyanin compositions. Variations in these compositional traits were assessed along three consecutive years as well as among three sites in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia. There was a wide range of ascorbic acid contents among fruits from different genotypes with a trend among sample years that appeared to be dependent on seasonal temperatures. For two cultivars, eight different anthocyanins were identified, where the rest of the cultivars contained from four to six. Growing conditions influenced anthocyanin levels, while the profiles stayed consistent. Results from this study can aid in selections by geneticists for crosses to improve antioxidant traits through breeding of new raspberry genotypes.