12 January - 20 June 2016

Chokeberry juice is an effective antioxidant

12 March 2015

Known by the Native North Americans for its health benefits, interest in chokeberries has recently grown in Europe due to evidence that they may lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Chokeberries (Aronia melanocarpa) are rich in a class of polyphenols known as anthocyanins; the antioxidative health benefits of anthocyanins have been well documented, although less is known about the effect of the digestion process on these beneficial compounds. 

Recent research published by the University of Belgrade, Serbia, has used a number of techniques to monitor the beneficial properties of anthocyanins as they pass through a replica of the digestion process (in vitro).  The process combined anthocyanins with substances present in common food matrices, such as proteins and fat, and subjected the mixture to acidic conditions, similar to those experienced in the stomach.  

Perhaps unsurprisingly, addition of a food matrix reduced the total phenolic and anthocyanin content, although these parameters were seen to increase slightly following in vitro digestion of the mixtures, as the food stuffs were fully digested. The phenolic and anthocyanin content was, however, shown to be less in the digested juice, compared to the non-digested juice, by approximately 25 %, demonstrated by the difference in proliferative rate on cultured Caco-2 cells.  Despite this, it is thought that a significant amount of the anthocyanins ingested in chokeberry juice still present antioxidant and antiproliferative effects following digestion.

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