Laboratory of Biopharmaceutical Research, Institute of Pharmaceutical Technologies, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania
Biomedical Sciences Department, Siauliai State College, Siauliai, Lithuania
The Botanical Garden of Siauliai University, Siauliai, Lithuania
Department of Pharmacognosy, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania
Corresponding author: Gabriele Vilkickyte, Laboratory of Biopharmaceutical Research, Institute of Pharmaceutical Technologies, Lithuanian University, Kaunas, Lithuania. Tel.: +370 622 34977; E-mail: [email protected].
Abstract: BACKGROUND:Anthocyanins are one of the key factors contributing to the quality and biological activities in various berries. Particular attention was devoted to Vaccinium L. berries, because of being commonly consumed in daily life and providing a large potential for the development of new pharmaceutical applications. OBJECTIVE:The present work aimed at establishing a novel UPLC-PDA method for profiling anthocyanins in berries and evaluating their distribution in cultivated lingonberries. METHODS:The method was developed and validated using bilberries (Vaccinium myrtillus L.), cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.), and lingonberries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.) matrices. Anthocyanins content variation was analyzed among 7 different cultivars and 1 infraspecific taxon of lingonberries. RESULTS:The proposed method ensured the separation of 20 compounds, including major and minor anthocyanins and their aglycones, in bilberries, 15 in cranberries, and 9 in lingonberries, during 12 min analysis. Bilberry matrix was distinguished by the most complex profile and the presence of delphinidin and petunidin, which were not identified either in cranberries or lingonberries. Cranberry anthocyanins consisted mainly of the 3-galactosides of cyanidin and peonidin, whereas lingonberry anthocyanins included cyanidin and its glycosides with just traces of other anthocyanins. Obtained anthocyanins fingerprinting results have guidance function in practice and demonstrate valuable chemophenetic information for studied Vaccinium berries. All determined method validation values were considered to be acceptable. Variation analysis of anthocyanins levels among cultivated lingonberries suggested genetic diversity and because of the highest anthocyanins content—the superiority of Russian cultivars (‘Kostromička’ and ‘Rubin’). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first comprehensive report on the anthocyanins of certain lingonberry cultivars. CONCLUSIONS:This study resulted in the rapid, simple, and validated method, which was shown to be applicable and convenient for routine analysis and authentication of Vaccinium berry samples.