Fruit and vegetable components that possess antioxidant capacity are being actively investigated because of the purported impact of dietary antioxidants on human health. Phenolic components, including anthocyanins, are believed to be major contributors to the antioxidant capacity of many small fruit species. Various horticultural factors have been examined with respect to anthocyanin and phenolic content, and antioxidant capacity of small fruit, especially Vaccinium species. Vaccinium species, and certain other fruits, had a high antioxidant capacity compared to strawberries and raspberries. However, genotypic variation in these characteristics was substantial among wild blueberry clones. Fruit maturity did not influence antioxidant capacity, although phenolic profiles changed dramatically during ripening. Fresh storage of certain ripe fruit at 20 °C led to increased anthocyanin content and increased antioxidant capacity. Certain food processing factors, such as heat and oxygen, decreased the antioxidant capacity of blueberry products.
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