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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2004 (2004), Issue 5, Pages 253-258
Research article

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

1Istituto di Scienze delle Produzioni Alimentari, CNR, Lecce 73100, Italy
2Istituto di Metodologie Chimiche, CNR, Area della Ricerca Roma 1, 00015 Montelibretti, Roma, Italy

Received 19 April 2004; Revised 10 June 2004; Accepted 15 June 2004

Copyright © 2004 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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 μmol TE/100 g FW) and a lower one for the callus extract (688 μmol TE/100 g FW).