Northwest cherry cultivars including Prunus avium 'Bing', Prunus avium 'Rainier', Prunus avium 'Royal Anne' and Prunus cerasus 'Montmorency' were separated into epidermal tissue, flesh and pit and cryogenically milled with liquid nitrogen. These samples as well as whole samples from each variety were extracted with acetone followed by a chloroform partition. The monomeric anthocyanin composition for each epidermal tissue sample was quantified using pH-differential methodology. Calculated (cyanidin-3-glucoside basis) levels were 130.0 ± 21 mg/100g of epidermal tissue for 'Bing' cherries, 33.8 mg/100g for 'Montmorency', 3.0 mg/100g ± 0.1 for 'Rainier' and 10.5 ± 7 mg/100g for 'Royal Anne'. HPLC, Mass Spectroscopy and spectral analyses, of Prunus avium L. indicated that >95% of the anthocyanin composition was comprised of cyanidin-3-glucoside, cyanidin-3-rutinoside and peonidin-3-rutinoside. Analyses for Prunus cerasus 'Montmorency' found that >94% of its composition was cyanidin-3-glucosylrutinoside, cyanidin-3-rutinoside and peonidin-3-rutinoside. The antioxidant absorbing capacity of all varieties as well as separated samples of 'Bing' and 'Rainier' were measured using Oxygen free-Radical
Absorbing Capacity (ORAL) and Ferric Reducing Antioxidant Power (FRAP) assays. Samples were measured for their free-radical binding capacity and compared using Trolox equivalents. 'Bing' sample results were 30.1 ± 0.51mM for ORAC and 23.69 ± 0.44mM for FRAP, 23.07 ± 0.13mM and 26.09 ± 0.47mM FRAP for 'Montmorency', 18.28 ± 0.45mM ORAC and 12.69 ± 0.39mM FRAP for 'Royal Anne' and 7.37 ± 0.08mM ORAC and 4.17 ± 0.43mM FRAP for 'Rainier'.
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