Chemical Composition of Lowbush Blueberry Cultivars

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science

The chemical composition of the lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Aiton) cultivars Blomidon, Cumberland, and Fundy were examined at three stages of fruit maturity, before and after refrigerated storage, in a 2-year study. There were differences (P< 0.001) related to maturity and cultivar in berry fresh weight, percentage dry matter, fruit firmness, percentage soluble solids, titratable acidity, and the concentration of sugar, acids, and anthocyanins. Among the nine organic and phenolic acids measured, seven acids varied among the maturity groups and eight varied among the cultivars. Between the 2 years of study there was a 60% difference in total fruit acid content as well as in the relative amounts of each acid. The 2-year mean profile of lowbush blueberry acids was distinctly different from that recently reported for highbush (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) and rabbiteye blueberries (Vaccinium ashei Reade). The level of certain acids as well as the concentration of anthocyanins increased during cold storage. Estimation of sugar concentration by percentage soluble solids overestimated sugar concentration by 3070. Acid measurement by titration underestimated acid content as measured by HPLC by 61%. Results of this study illustrate the variation in the chemical composition of lowbush blueberry fruit among cultivars, maturities, and seasons, and can be used to compare lowbush blueberries with other Vaccinium species.

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