Background/Aims: Approximately 16,000 tonnes of sweet cherries are produced annually in Australia, however growers estimate that 20 to 50% of each season’s crop is unfit for market. As cherries are known to be rich in bioactive compounds, the recovery and conversion of this waste fruit into value-added products is attractive for both economic and environmental reasons. The aim of this research was to compare the anthocyanin content and profile of third grade (waste) Prunus avium ‘Lapins’ cherries with that from first grade fruit.
Methods: Anthocyanins were extracted from first and third grade 'Lapins' cherries and analysed via UPLC. Differences in anthocyanin profile and total anthocyanin content (TAC) were identified. In addition, the effect of storage on the TAC of the waste fruit was determined.
Results: No differences in the anthocyanin profiles of the two grades of fruit were identified. The TAC of waste ‘Lapins’ cherries was 385mg/100g fresh weight (FW), 43% higher than that of first grade cherries (269mg/100gFW). Whilst storage at -80oC for 3 months resulted in a significant decrease in the TAC of waste cherries (p-value = 0.002), it remained higher than that of fresh first grade cherries.
Conclusion: Third grade ‘Lapins’ cherries contain a significantly higher concentration of anthocyanins than first grade fruit, with a TAC exceeding those previously reported for sweet cherries. As such, there is much scope as to the application of current waste cherry fruit and their potential as a rich source of anthocyanins.
Funding source: Researcher in Business Grant