Bioactive Properties of Wild Blueberry Fruits


  • We are grateful for the research support provided by the Wild Blueberry Association of North America, and by the College of ACES, University of Illinois Value-Added Grants Program, 1997-1998. The authors wish to thank Marie-France Pépin and Fayez Kandil for helpful suggestions and for discussion of materials included in this paper.


Bioactive extracts from wild blueberries were isolated, fractionated, and analyzed. Antioxidant activity, cardioprotective capacity, and ability to inhibit the initiation stage of chemically-induced carcinogenesis were evaluated. Many fractions had antioxidant activity, especially those rich in anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins. The ease of isolation of bioactive compounds and the ability to obtain accurate bioassays depended strongly on the source material used. Extracts from spray-dried formulations containing magnesium citrate and tri-calcium phosphate provided easier materials for bioactivity assessment and demonstrated antioxidant, cancer preventive and cardioprotective activity. Extracts with potent antioxidant activity degraded readily, underscoring the need for rapid alternative fractionation tactics and rigorously controlled storage conditions.