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  • Author or Editor: Raymond H. Thomas x
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The relationship between fruit maturation and accumulation of hydrogen peroxide (H2 O2), lipid peroxidation, ethylene (C2 H4) production, antioxidant activity (hydrophilic, lipophilic and total) and the antioxidant enzyme ascorbate peroxidase (APX, EC 1.11.1.11) in fruit pericarp tissue of `Chandler' (Fragaria × ananassa Duch.) strawberry were measured. `Chandler' fruit pericarp maturation and ripening were accompanied by a decline in H2 O2 content early in fruit development followed by a rapid accumulation. An increase in membrane lipid peroxidation (thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, TBARS) coincided with accumulation of H2 O2, which preceded a rise in C2 H4 production. In general, antioxidant activity declined as fruit matured and ripened. APX enzyme activity increased by 2-fold and peaked at the pink stage of development and then gradually declined with ripening. H2 O2 may serve as a signal molecule to initiate the cascade of oxidative processes during maturation and ripening. APX enzyme activity during maturation and ripening was not substantial and thus, may not have a role in alleviating accumulation of H2 O2 and subsequent events related to oxidative senescence in fruit pericarp. To our knowledge, this is the first study to present fractionated antioxidant activities (HAA, LAA and TAA) from strawberry pericarp as assessed by the ABTS∼+ radical cation assay. A fundamental understanding of the mechanisms involved in the senescent related-oxidative changes during strawberry fruit ontogeny in relation to quality and nutrition is discussed.

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Blackberries are an excellent source of natural antioxidants. Fully ripened fruit of `Apache', `Arapaho', `Chester', `Loch Ness', `Navaho', and `Triple Crown' thornless blackberries were evaluated for their physicochemical and antioxidative activity. Differences in initial pH, titratable acidity (TA), total soluble solids (TSS), TSS/TA ratio and soluble sugars (reducing sugar, sucrose, and total sugars) differed among cultivars. Differences among cultivars with respect to reduced ascorbic acid (AA) were established, but there were no differences in either oxidized ascorbic acid (DHA) or total ascorbic acid (TAA) content. Antioxidant activity was determined by ABTS radical cation procedure for fractionated crude fruit extracts and the cultivars varied in the parameters evaluated. Hydrophilic antioxidant activity (HAA) was not different among cultivars evaluated. In contrast, lipophilic antioxidant activity (LAA) and total antioxidant activity (TAA) differed. The results obtained in this study indicate that Alabama-grown blackberries vary in their quality indices and are an excellent source of natural antioxidants. Information compiled will assist in marketing, handling, postharvest storage of these fruit and serve as a guide to partial fulfillment of recommended daily dietary requirements.

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