Flavonoid content of strawberries


What are flavonoids?

Role of flavonoids
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Sources of




FLAVONOID CONTENTS DIFFER AMONGST STRAWBERRY VARIETIES                                                            

Large differences in the flavonoid content of strawberries have been found in studies conducted by researchers from PRI and ENEA in The Netherlands and Italy. Flavonoid composition is largely influenced by genetic factors, as well as environmental conditions and food processing methods.

A study aiming to get insight into the varietal, developmental and environmental factors influencing the levels of proanthocyanidins (PAs) and other flavonoids in strawberries screened the biochemical diversity of 100 different strawberry varieties that were grown in each of three different locations (the Netherlands, Northern Italy and Southern Italy). PA content varied as much as 14-fold between fruit varieties, resulting from both genetic and environmental differences. To get insight in the relative contribution of genotype and environment on PA composition, six varieties were grown at two locations (Northern and Southern Italy). For 4 varieties the environmental effect was larger than the genotypic differences, which may indicate that these varieties are closely related. For two varieties the genotypic differences exceeded the effect of the environment. Molecular analyses showed differences in the abundance of gene transcripts related to flavonoid biosynthesis and fruit quality.

These findings suggest that there are good opportunities for selection and breeding of high-PA strawberry varieties.

Apples, grapes and strawberries are rich sources of different flavonoids and thus suitable candidates for the study of flavonoid content modification and optimization. Amounts of light, water and nutrients available, day and night temperatures and geographical growth location all affect the amounts and the proportions of different flavonoids in the fruits. There is considerable evidence supporting the role of flavonoids in human health and chronic disease prevention.

Information concerning the conditions which result in optimal flavonoid content is of great importance to the growers of these fruits as well as future food product development in order to create products that enhance our well-being.

 For more information contact:
Carlo Rosati and Gaetano Perrotta
ENEA Trisaia, Italy

Arnaud Bovy and Ric de Vos
Plant Research International, The Netherlands

For more information on the FLAVO project please visit www.flavo.info
or e-mail flavomail@vtt.fi




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