Eight unique varietal grape juices were examined for their antioxidant characteristics and commercial potential compared to that of commercial `Niagara' and `Concord'. Grape juices were cold-pressed from mature grapes, clarified, preserved, analyzed for pH, soluble solid and titratable acidity levels, pasteurized at 73 °C for 12 seconds, and sampled for microbial testing. A preliminary panel of 41 routine evaluators assessed all juices for 18 quality characteristics against known and blind controls. Based on these results, `Reliance', `Traminette', and New York 73 juices were presented to a 107-member panel of untrained judges. Panelists rated experimental juices against commercial controls for color, appearance, aroma and flavor intensity, sweetness, tartness, overall quality, and preference. Among juices tested, `Reliance' and NY 73 offer the greatest potential as specialty grape juices. `Traminette', `Chardonel', `Chambourcin', and NY 62 may also have potential as grape juice cultivars, if processed to improve their color and clarity. Small juice lots were hand-pressed from mature grapes and examined for total anthocyanin and phenolic content, antioxidant characteristics (DPPH and FRAP) and levels of individual phenolic compounds via GC-MS. Total anthocyanin and phenolic contents of experimental juices varied from 0–1460 μg·gfw-1 and 1001–2850 μg·gfw-1, respectively, and were highest in NY 73. Estimates of antioxidant activity differed slightly among tests, but activity appeared highest in `Chambourcin' and NY 73 and lowest in `Reliance'. Levels of individual compounds varied substantially among juices.
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