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The main objective of the
Journal of Berry Research is to improve the knowledge about quality and production of berries to benefit health of the consumers and maintain profitable production using sustainable systems.
The objective will be achieved by focusing on four main areas of research and development:
1. From genetics to variety evaluation
2. Nursery production systems and plant quality control
3. Plant physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology, as well as cultural management
4. Health for the consumer: components and factors affecting berries' nutritional value
Specifically, the journal will cover berries (strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, cranberry currants, etc.), as well as grapes and small soft fruit in general (e.g., kiwi fruit). It will publish research results covering all areas of plant breeding, including plant genetics, genomics, functional genomics, proteomics and metabolomics, plant physiology, plant pathology and plant development, as well as results dealing with the chemistry and biochemistry of bioactive compounds contained in such fruits and their possible role in human health. Contributions detailing possible pharmacological, medical or therapeutic use or dietary significance will be welcomed in addition to studies regarding biosafety issues of genetically modified plants.
Journal of Berry Research will feature reviews, research articles, brief communications, position papers, letters and patent updates.
Abstract: INTRODUCTION: The consumption of mulberry leaf tea is popularly increasing worldwide due to its potential health benefit associated with phenolic compounds. To ensure the quality, the content of phenolic compounds of mulberry leaf tea need to be monitored throughout the storage period. OBJECTIVE: This research proposed a rapid prediction of phenolic compounds and antioxidant activity of mulberry leaf tea using an electronic tongue (e-tongue). METHODS: Total phenolic content (TPC), total flavonoids content (TFC) and antioxidant activity (FRAP and DPPH) of mulberry leaf tea stored at 30–60°C for 12 months were measured by an e-tongue and conventional…chemical analyses. Partial least squares (PLS) regression was applied to predict chemicals parameters by e-tongue data. RESULTS: The PLS models for TPC, TFC, FRAP, and DPPH achieved good predictability with high values of coefficient of determination ( R p 2 = 0.956, 0.964, 0.926, and 0.943, respectively) and gave low mean square error of prediction. CONCLUSION: The results demonstrated that e-tongue can be applied as a rapid and non-destructive tool for the simultaneous evaluation of phenolics compounds and antioxidant activity to ensure the quality and health benefits of mulberry leaf tea.
Keywords: Herbal tea, Morus alba
, phytochemicals, biological activity, e-tongue, partial least squares regression
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Ozonation is promising method for prolonging the postharvest shelf life as well as decrease of microbiological contamination and pesticide residue in soft fruit. In view of the fact, that ozone is a substance that can induce the reactive oxygen species generation in plant cells, it is necessary to determine the effect of ozone treatment on the antioxidant status in fruit. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of ozonation on the antioxidant status in blackcurrant fruit. METHODS: Blackcurrants were exposed to ozone at the concentration of 16 mg L–1 and 160 mg L–1…for 5, 15 and 30 min. Changes in antioxidant activity, total phenolic content and activity of selected antioxidant enzymes after ozonation were analyzed. RESULTS: It was found, that under proposed conditions the activity of enzymes involved in scavenging of reactive oxygen species (quaiacol peroxidase, ascorbate peroxidase and catalase) increased with ozone concentration and treatment time. In addition, the ozone treatment activated the phenylalanine ammonia-lyase, whose an activity showed a strong correlation with total phenolic content and antioxidant activity of blackcurrants. CONCLUSIONS: Ozonation process activated a protective mechanisms against occurrence of oxidative stress in blackcurrant fruit.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Murta, a native berry from southern Chile, has been used in Chilean folk medicine to treat inflammatory and infectious diseases among other ailments. OBJECTIVE: This work assessed the influence of different drying methods: freeze drying (FD), convective drying (CD), vacuum drying (VD), sun drying (SD), and infrared drying (IRD) on the antimicrobial activity of murta berries against four microbial species. METHODS: Murta berries were subjected to five drying methods. Measurement of bioactive compounds that include: phenolic compounds by HPLC, total flavonoid content by a spectrophotometric method; and anthocyanins by HPLC–MS. Determination of antioxidant capacity by…DPPH and ORAC methods and antimicrobial activity by means of agar well diffusion assay. RESULTS: Murta extracts obtained by FD and CD showed the highest antimicrobial activity, with Staphylococcus aureus the most susceptible species. Drying induced a significant loss of bioactive compounds and antioxidant activity although minimal losses were observed in FD, CD and VD extracts. In these extracts, the abundance of bioactive compounds correlated with the antimicrobial activity. Eight phenolic compounds were identified in murta extracts where pyrogallol’s abundance increased in all dried samples. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that murta dried with FD, CD and VD have the highest potential to be used as a functional ingredient in the food industry.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Red raspberries contain high concentrations of anthocyanins (ACNs). Consumption of red raspberries has steadily increased in the US because of their potential health effects. Processed red raspberry products are widely used in commercial applications, but their ACN contents are largely unknown. OBJECTIVE: Types of ACNs and their contents in common processed red raspberries (frozen, juice concentrate and puree) on the US market were investigated. METHOD: ACN were analyzed and quantified in thirty-four nationally representative processed red raspberry samples by HPLC-MS. RESULTS: Seven cyanidin or pelargonidin glycosides were detected and quantified. Each individual samples…contained 4 to 5 of them. Cyanidin-3-O -sophoroside and cyanidin-3-O -glucoside were found to be the major ACNs in all samples, while the minor ACNs varied among different samples. Total ACN contents ranged from 13.88±1.21 to 38.43±2.75 mg/100 g for frozen red raspberries, 30.96±5.34 to 65.29±3.37 mg/100 g for red raspberry juice concentrates, and 10.89±0.94 to 27.11±1.15 mg/100 g for red raspberry puree samples. CONCLUSION: The types of ACNs varied slightly but the contents varied considerably between different samples. The sources (national brand vs. store brand, domestic or imported) and processing method (seeded or seedless) did not appear to be major influential factors when multiple samples were included in the comparison.
Keywords: Red raspberries, anthocyanin, cyanidin, pelargonidin, juice
Abstract: BACKGROUND: In Europe mulberry cultivation is attracting growing interest for the valuable nutraceutical properties of its fruit; however, mulberry orchards specialized in fruit production only are not very common, therefore an adequate harvesting technique has not been developed. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this work was to evaluate an innovative harvesting system in terms of efficiency and labour required, and to monitor fruit losses. METHODS: Harvesting operations were recorded during inspections to the field during the fruit ripening season; chemical assessment on fruit quality and mechanical tests on the detachment force of fruits at different ripening stages…were carried out. RESULTS: We described the structure and functions of the innovative system, its harvesting capacity (kg h–1 ) in comparison to traditional methods, the related losses, and the quality of collected fruits. CONCLUSIONS: The innovative harvesting system requires a minimum of four workers, but it results in a two to three-fold increase of the hourly productivity per person. Furthermore, it is constructionally and functionally very simple and it does not require important initial or maintenance investments. Overall the system can save labour costs and contribute to spreading of moriculture for fruit production.
Keywords: Mulberry fruits, sorosis, harvesting system, harvest losses, detachment force
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Blueberries possess anthocyanins which exert cardiovascular benefits but little is known about the timeframe of these benefits. OBJECTIVES: Examine effects of blueberry (BB) or placebo (PL) on variables of blood pressure (BP), augmentation index (AIx), and pulse wave velocity (cPWV) each week for three weeks for chronic assessment and within 1 h and 2 h to assess acute effects in sedentary individuals. METHODS: Participants (N = 22), 40 to 70 years old were randomized into BB (n = 10) or PL (n = 12). Baseline values were obtained, participants consumed 38 g BB or PL/d for three weeks, and BP, AIx, and…cPWV were measured weekly. At the end of week three, 38 g of BB or PL were ingested and acute measures taken at one and two hours post-consumption. RESULTS: Chronic and acute ingestion resulted in significant Treatment-Time Interaction for systolic BP (SBP) (p = 0.030 and p = 0.017, respectively) with BB group being lower. Diastolic pressures were not affected. Chronic and acute Time (p = 0.029 and p = 0.021, respectively), but not Treatment or Interaction, effects existed for AIx. Acute Time effects existed for cPWV (p = 0.020) but not for Treatment or Interaction. CONCLUSIONS: Change in SBP was not mediated by vessel distensibility but was likely due to an unknown physiologic factor not examined.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Grapes (Vitis vinifera ) are an important woody crop cultivated in a broad range of environmental conditions. Grapefruit development is a physiological process whose molecular regulatory networks are still not sufficiently investigated. OBJECTIVE: The primary aim of the work was to identify which key genes, molecular mechanisms and networks were involved in fruit ripening and development through a comparison of available transcriptomic data at different stages during grape development and ripening. Secondly, we aimed at identifying among these fruit-related genes, which genes play also a functional role in other developmental and physiological processes in reproductive tissues (bud…and flower). METHODS: The two objectives were obtained through a meta-analysis on 9 RNA-Sequencing (RNA-Seq) studies. Raw data was downloaded from publicly available resource and re-analyzed to find out the significant differentially expressed genes (DEGs) (p -value <0.05). Gene enrichment and functional analysis were done using MapMan and PageMan. DAVID web server was used to identify gene ontology. NetworkAnalyst was used for finding out the protein-protein interaction. RESULTS: 721 (178 were up-regulated and 534 were down-regulated) differentially regulated genes in fruit development were in common between all the four fruit studies. The gene set enrichment analysis performed on these commonly regulated genes showed that the following biological processes were significantly affected during the fruit development: induction of major CHO metabolism, starch and lactoylglutathione lyase and repression of cell wall-related pathways, photosynthesis and cytokinin synthesis. Some of the key genes involved in ethylene, brassinosteroid and cytokinin were down-regulated in the late stage of fruit ripening, while two key abscisic acid-related genes were up-regulated. Fruit ripening up-regulated some key genes encoding Homeobox (HB17), AP2EREBP (RAP2), C2C2-CO-like, WRKY (WRKY9), MYB (MYB62) while repressing several key genes encoding bHLH, MYBs, WRKYs and C2H2. CONCLUSION: This comprehensive meta-analysis allowed identifying which genes should be the main targets of a grape breeding strategy to improve physiological processes linked to fruit development and ripening. These data will be used for future sustainable biotechnologies strategies based on small-molecule treatments and genome editing.
Keywords: Berry ripening, fruit development, Vitis vinifera, meta-analysis, RNA-Seq, transcriptomics.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: By acidity, Al3+ available form increases, being toxic for plants. Calcium amendments are widely used as an agronomic practice to reduce this effect. OBJECTIVE: To determine the gypsum application effect on leaf morphological and physiological features on three highbush blueberry cultivars growing in acid soil and toxic Al level. METHODS: Legacy and Brigitta, Al-resistant and Bluegold, Al-sensitive were grown in acid soil with 48% Al saturation and three gypsum concentrations (0.7, 1.4, and 2.8 g CaSO4 kg–1 ) for 30 days. Chlorophyll a fluorescence measurements, photosynthesis, and photoprotective pigments were analyzed. Samples of…leaves and roots were harvested, and Al, Ca, and S concentrations, antioxidant activity (RSA), lipid peroxidation (LP), and leaf anatomy were determined. RESULTS: Gypsum decreased leaves and roots Al concentration in all cultivars. Higher Ca leaves concentration in cultivars was observed compared to roots under gypsum treatment. Aluminum damages were observed in leaf thickness, improving anatomic features in cultivars by gypsum as well as a reduction of LP without changes in RSA. Chlorophyll levels changed differentially according to the cultivar and CaSO4 dose, while antheraxanthin was higher in Legacy with gypsum. The Principal Component Analysis (PCA) scores plot showed that PC1 separated Brigitta from Legacy-Al resistant, while PC2 helped to discriminate Bluegold Al-sensitive cultivar with gypsum treatment from the rest of the samples, including Bluegold without gypsum. CONCLUSIONS: Gypsum amendment ameliorates leaf morphology alterations as well as photochemical and biochemical damages in highbush blueberry under Al-toxicity, being cultivar-dependent. The morphological parameters can be important features as Al-resistance anatomical markers in highbush blueberry.
Abstract: Fresh blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are gaining popularity for their pleasant flavour and health benefits. However, their fresh supply, and the potential for market growth, are still limited by their short shelf life and seasonality. High respiration rates, delicate structures and high susceptibility to fungal decay are the main factors limiting the storability of these berry types. Current industrial practice for a longer shelf life relies heavily on cold chain and high humidity storage conditions. This typically results in a shelf life of 2–4 weeks for blueberries, and 2–5 days for raspberries and blackberries. This review discusses novel postharvest technologies…from physico-chemical treatments (heat treatments, UV and edible coatings) to packaging-based solutions to improve the preservation of the freshness of blueberries, raspberries and blackberries through the supply chain. Sanitisation plays a crucial role in preventing fungal growth, while innovative packaging solutions act as complementary treatments to maintain quality attributes. The development and application of such technology combinations will increase berry shelf life, helping to satisfy the increasing global demand for these fresh berry products and improve consumer satisfaction.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Excessive production of grape is valorized by traditional drying and homemade jam production in some regions of Algeria. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to investigate the changes in antioxidant activity, phenolic compounds and their bioaccessibility in two grape varieties (Cardinal and Dabouki or Sabel) as a result of traditional sun drying and homemade jam processes. METHODS: Fresh and dried grapes, as well as jam samples were subjected to a series of spectrophotometric analyses including total phenolics, flavonoids, and antioxidant activity. Individual phenolic compounds were identified and quantified by HPLC-DAD-MS-QTOF. An in vitro gastrointestinal digestion was…applied to evaluate the bioaccessibility. RESULTS: Both traditional processes led to considerable losses in the levels of some phenolic compounds and their antioxidant activities. However, an increase in the content of other phenolic acids was also observed after processing. Total phenolics, total flavonoids and total antioxidant capacity recovery values of the dialysable fraction of processed samples were higher than those of fresh grapes for both varieties. CONCLUSIONS: Traditional raisins and homemade jams could be considered as good sources of natural antioxidants, although a modification of some critical steps that may negatively affect their antioxidant properties is suggested in the light of this study.