Blueberry: Functional Traits and Obtention of Bioactive Compounds


There is pressure from consumers about exchanging synthetic for natural dyes in foods. This review aimed to expose the potential of blueberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) as a source of natural dye, associated with its properties of functional food. Blueberry is a fruit plant natural from temperate climate, rich in phenolic compounds. The properties of phenolic compounds can be attributed to its ability to capture free radicals, deactivating or eliminating them from the body. Anthocyanins are flavonoid phenolic compounds responsible for color of fruits, flowers and vegetables. Blueberry is rich in anthocyanins, being its content more affected by genotype than by climatic or environmental factors. Brazil has the potential to assume an important position in the worldwide market of this fruit, both in natura and as byproducts, whose main destinations are populations from regions with higher income and educational level, as the North America and Europe. Due to the importance of blueberry as a source of natural pigments, as well as its high value while associated with functional food, it is important to improve extraction and stabilization processes of anthocyanins from blueberry fruits. Researches should focus on the technical viability and cost reduction in the extraction of this pigment. Pioneer studies with blueberry have been conducted in Brazil, but the intensification of researches will allow yield maximization, increased levels of anthocyanins in fruits, and compound stability after extraction. Another focus should be the use of these natural pigments in order to replace those currently used.

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Rocha Concenço, F. , Stringheta, P. , Ramos, A. and Terayama Oliveira, I. (2014) Blueberry: Functional Traits and Obtention of Bioactive Compounds. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 5, 2633-2645. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2014.518278.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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