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Sour Cherry (Prunus cerasus L) Anthocyanins as Ingredients for Functional Foods

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In the recent years many studies on anthocyanins have revealed their strong antioxidant activity and their possible use as chemotherapeutics. The finding that sour cherries (Prunus cerasus L) (also called tart cherries) contain high levels of anthocyanins that possess strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties has attracted much attention to this species. Here we report the preliminary results of the induction of anthocyanin biosynthesis in sour cherry callus cell cultures. The evaluation and characterization of the in vitro produced pigments are compared to those of the anthocyanins found in vivo in fruits of several sour cherry cultivars. Interestingly, the anthocyanin profiles found in whole fruit extracts were similar in all tested genotypes but were different with respect to the callus extract. The evaluation of antioxidant activity, performed by ORAC and TEAC assays, revealed a relatively high antioxidant capacity for the fruit extracts (from 1145 to 2592 μ mol TE/100 g FW) and a lower one for the callus extract (688 μ mol TE/100 g FW).


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