The chemical composition and biological capacities of berries depend on environmental parameters, maturity, and location. The Andean blueberry (Vaccinium floribundum Kunth), also known as mortino, presents a unique combination of several phytochemicals, which play a synergistic role in its characterization as a functional food. We aimed to expose the possible variations that exist in the profile of the phenolic compounds as well as the antioxidant and antimicrobial capacity of the wild Andean blueberry with respect to three ripeness stages and two different altitudes. We found that polyphenols are the predominant compounds in the berry during the early ripeness stage and are the main bioactive compounds that give rise to the antioxidant capacity and inhibition effect on the growth of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Moreover, the accumulation of ascorbic acid, free amino acids, and anthocyanins increases as the ripening process progresses, and they were the main bioactive compounds in the ripe berry. The latter compounds influence the production of the typical bluish or reddish coloration of ripe blueberries. In addition, it was determined that environmental conditions at high altitudes could have a positive influence in all cases. Overall, our data provide evidence regarding the high functional value of the wild Andean blueberry.
Influence of Altitudes and Development Stages on the Chemical Composition, Antioxidant, and Antimicrobial Capacity of the Wild Andean Blueberry (Vaccinium floribundum Kunth) / Guevara-Terán, Mabel; Padilla-Arias, Katherine; Beltrán-Novoa, Andrea; González-Paramás, Ana M; Giampieri, Francesca; Battino, Maurizio; Vásquez-Castillo, Wilson; Fernandez-Soto, Paulina; Tejera, Eduardo; Alvarez-Suarez, José M. - In: MOLECULES. - ISSN 1420-3049. - ELETTRONICO. - 27:21(2022), p. 7525. [10.3390/molecules27217525]