Scientific evidences depicting a strong correlation between nutrition and health have led to a spike in consumer demand for healthy diets which involve the consumption of fruits and vegetables and other functional foods delaying aging phenomena, apart from reducing the risk of several degenerative diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and cancer (Paredes-¬López et al., 2010). Berries such as blackberry, bilberry, blackcurrant, chokeberry, cranberry, bayberry, raspberry, black raspberry, blueberry, strawberry, currant, gooseberry, maqui, murtilla and calafate have high antioxidant values with usual consumption in the form of fresh and processed products (Jimenez et al., 2012). Berry fruits are also called as soft fruits and also include boysenberry, bilberry, jostaberry, cloudberry, loganberry, lingonberry which are of less economic importance (Manganaris et al., 2013).

Potential Use of Elderberry as Natural Colourant & antioxidant in food industry

With the increase in accumulation of free radicals in the organism, onset of several diseases takes place due to oxidative stress targeting the defense mechanism of the organism (Yung et al., 2006); therefore foods containing natural occurring antioxidants should be included in the diet. Various studies have reported the biological active properties of polyphenolic compounds in berries; the prominent ones include anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-platelet aggregation and hypocholesterolemic activities (Kaur and Geetha, 2006).

A huge level of interest is being generated in the berries, owing to the potential of natural polyphenols present in them (Rios de Souza et al., 2014) leading to enhanced memory, learning and general cognitive abilities. These phenolics are the resultant product of secondary metabolism consisting of one or more aromatic rings with different degrees of hydroxylation, methoxylation and glycosylation imparting characteristic fruit colour, astringency and bitterness. Strawberries, owing to the presence of high content of antioxidants are considered as a health promoting food. Antioxidants, which are present in high concentration in these berries include caffeic acid, flavonoids, ellagic acid, apart from anthocyanins, tannins, catechin, quercetin, kaempferol, gallic acid derivatives, Vitamins C, E and carotenoids (Subash et al., 2014).

Potential use of Elderberry as Natural Colourant

Anthocyanins are adequately found in chokeberries, blueberries and bilberries, thereby making them great antioxidants, cardiovascular protective, antidiabetic along with inhibiting carcinogenesis or mutagenesis (Zheng & Wang, 2003) and providing typical colour to the berries also. Most of these berry fruits comprise of balanced mixture of the five major anthocyanins aglycones (delphinidin, petunidin, cyanidin, peonidin and malvidin) bound to the monosaccharides glucose, galactose and arabinose (Kondakova et al., 2009). These berries also include mulberry, blackberry, rosehip, kiwi, goji berry and blueberry. Malvidin is the major anthocyanidin present in blueberry and cyanidin in bilberry. The major portion of antioxidant property in blue and black berries has been shared by anthocyanins. Several studies have reported the positive effect of anthocyanins in preventive cancer as well as their potential application as a pharmacological source against chronic illnesses (Nichenametla et al., 2006). Anthocyanin content and the antioxidant value of berries are a reflection of the extraction method used (Kahkonen et al., 2001).

Flavonols are usually present as glycosides of myricetin, quercetin and kaempferol and as monomers (-)-epicatechin and (+)-catechin in berries (Hakkinen et al., 1999). Tannins, generally hydrolysable tannins are abundant in strawberry, blackberry and raspberry, whilst condensed tannins are present in chokeberries (Josuttis et al., 2013). Another group of phenolic compounds popular by the name of stilbenes is widespread in berries; specifically piceatannol, resveratrol and pterostilbene have been found in cranberry, strawberry, blueberry and bilberry (Paredes-Lopez et al., 2010; Ehala et al., 2005).

Strawberry, raspberry and blackcurrant are loaded with appreciable amount of vitamin C followed by blueberry and cranberry (Aly et al., 2018). Carotenoids that are known to be found in berry fruits include lutein, α & β-carotene, neoxanthin, zeaxanthin, Cis and trans-violaxanthin, β-cryptoxanthin and lycopene; although the content is slightly lower than other fruit species (Magnanaris et al., 2014). Blackberry and raspberry contain highest levels of carotenoid, whereas red currant and strawberry are known to contain lower levels (Aly et al., 2018).

Berries are also recognized for their antimicrobial activity, particularly anti-bacterial activity. Chokeberry and bilberry are reported to be loaded with high antibacterial properties in their extracts (Rauha et al., 2000). Cranberry, raspberry, bilberry and strawberry have substantial amount of antimicrobial activity against various microbial agents like Salmonella and Staphylococcus (Puupponen-Pimia et al., 2005). The antimicrobial activity of berries is due to several mechanisms involved in restricting the bacterial growth like permeability of the plasma membrane, depriving bacteria of the substrate essential for bacterial growth by affecting the metabolic activity of bacteria, restricting the activity of extracellular enzymes and causing the deterioration of cell membrane (Burdulis et al., 2009). Another factor attributed to the antimicrobial activity of berries is that bacteria could not colonize, as it could not adhere to the epithelial cells. Myricetin restrict the proliferation of lactic acid bacteria, while common finnish berries are known to inhibit the growth of Gram-negative bacteria. Blueberry and bilberry show inhibitory actions against the growth of Gram-positive bacteria viz. B. Subtilis and L. Monocytogenes (Burdulis et al., 2009).

Optimization of Osmotic dehydration of Autumn Olive Berries

The beneficial effects of berries on human health have been able to attract enough attention, whilst their cultivation is also becoming widespread. Hence, owing to their antioxidant and antimicrobial activities, berry fruits could be exploited for utilization in preparation of several nutritive and medicinal products.


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About the Authors:
Dr. Jasmeet Kour1, Dr. Bharati Sharma2 & Dr. Naveen Anand3
1Padma Shri Padma Sachdev, Govt. PG College for Women,
Gandhi Nagar, Jammu – 180003, Jammu & Kashmir, India.
2Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar-143005, Punjab, India.
3Cluster University of Jammu-180001, Jammu & Kashmir, India.
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An editor by day & dreamer at night; passionately involved with both print and digital media; Pet lover; Solo traveller.

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