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Concept: Blackcurrant


Deaths from choking are a major cause of childhood mortality, especially in the very young. Whole grapes are ideally suited to cause paediatric airway obstruction and, though regularly implicated, knowledge that this popular fruit, and other similarly shaped foods, is a choking hazard is not widespread. We present the cases of three children who presented to our institution after grape aspiration. Increased dissemination of the learning points among health professionals working with children may aid in the prevention of further episodes.

Concepts: Fruit, Youth, Wine, Grape, Berry, Blackcurrant


Winter chilling is critical for flowering and fruiting of many temperate fruits, with evidence that blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum L.) cropping has been adversely affected by warm winters. Accurate models of chill accumulation in blackcurrant are required so that breeding strategies can be formulated for the generation of new cultivars with resilience to future climates. Existing models for chill accumulation have largely been derived from statistical correlation; here we report the derivation of improved models for blackcurrant using controlled environment treatments. Hardwood cuttings from a diverse set of cultivars were exposed to constant or varying chilling temperatures and the effects on bud break after transfer to a warm, permissive environment evaluated. The impact of different combinations of temperature and chilling periods were described in terms of their overall ‘Effectiveness’ (E). Clear genotypic differences were found, with excessive chilling often inhibiting bud break. There was a significant interaction between observed chilling response and the period of low temperature exposure. A number of chilling models to explain observed interactions between chilling temperature and time of exposure on bud break were compared; the most effective involved an optimal response to increasing chill accumulation. The effects of varying temperatures during chilling on bud break were complex, with warm temperature breaks substantially inhibiting bud development and cooler temperature breaks tending to enhance bud burst. The relevance of these models to generic studies of endodormancy is discussed, together with their potential application to the development of phenotyping screens for future breeding using diverse blackcurrant germplasm.

Concepts: Effect, Effectiveness, Thermodynamics, Fruit, Grape, Blackcurrant, Redcurrant, Ribes


Nowadays growing interest in the possibility of prophylactic and therapeutic use of plant products rich in biologically active compounds has been observed. Among them special interest has been focused on polyphenol-rich products. Owing to multidirectional favourable action of polyphenols, products rich in these compounds are recommended as functional food in the case of civilization diseases. Moreover, data from studies in animal models show that polyphenols may be a promising preventive/therapeutic strategy for xenobiotics, including toxic heavy metals. The protective impact of polyphenols against metals toxicity may be explained by the presence of many hydroxyl groups in the structure of these compounds, which are capable of forming complexes with metals preventing as a result from their gastrointestinal absorption and accelerating their elimination from the body with urine. However, it should be taken into account that polyphenols may bind not only ions of toxic metals, but also bioelements, what makes a risk of their shortage in the organism. This review provides an overview of implications for humans' and animals' health of complexation of bioelements and toxic metals by polyphenols present in popular foodstuffs, including phenolic acids, cyanidin derivatives, delphinidin, quercetin, kaempferol, morin, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, and curcumin. Polyphenolic compounds capable of binding both necessary and toxic metals occur in commonly consumed products such as green tea, and some fruit and vegetables, including chokeberries, bilberries, and black currant fruit, grapes, and apples, as well as onion. The mechanisms of complexation of essential and toxic metals by polyphenols and possible these implications for health are discussed.

Concepts: Functional group, Fruit, Tea, Catechin, Quercetin, Resveratrol, Heavy metal music, Blackcurrant


In this study, the degradation of polysaccharides from blackcurrant (BCP) was investigated. Two low-molecular-weight polysaccharides (DBCP-1, DBCP-2) were obtained using Fe2+with different concentrations of H2O2solution. IR spectra showed DBCPs had obvious characteristic peaks of polysaccharides. GC analysis confirmed DBCPs were composed of the same monosaccharide units as BCP but with different molar ratios. NMR analysis indicated DBCPs and BCP had similar glycosidic linkage patterns. The surface area of fragmented structure in DBCPs was reduced compared to BCP, and they had no triple helix structure. The results of bioactivity assays indicated that DBCPs exhibited higher antioxidant, α-amylase and α-glucosidase inhibitory activities than BCP, and the degraded polysaccharides with the lower molecular weight possessed higher bioactivities. These results suggested that Fe2+-H2O2degradation did not change the main structure of polysaccharide and the degree of degradation could play a key role in the bioactivities of the polysaccharides.

Concepts: Starch, Polysaccharide, Vitamin C, Cellulose, Carbohydrate chemistry, Glycosidic bond, Blackcurrant, Ribes



Global warming may modify the timing of dormancy release and spring growth of buds of temperate fruit crops. Environmental regulation of the activity-dormancy cycle in perennial plants remains poorly understood at the metabolic level. Especially the fine scale metabolic dynamics in the meristematic zone within buds have received little attention. In this work we performed metabolic profiling of intact floral primordia of R. nigrum isolated from buds differing in dormancy status using HR-MAS NMR. The technique proved useful in monitoring different groups of metabolites, e.g. carbohydrates and amino acids, in floral primordia and allowed metabolic separation of primordia from endo- and ecodormant buds. In addition, due to its non-destructive character HR-MAS NMR may provide novel insights into cellular compartmentation of individual biomolecules, which cannot be obtained using liquid-state NMR. Out results show that HR-MAS NMR may be an important method for metabolomics of intact plant structures.

Concepts: Amino acid, Metabolism, Plant, Annual plant, Fruit, Seed, Perennial plant, Blackcurrant


In the original publication of the article, on page 7, paragraph “Discussion”, line 12, ‘blackcurrant has been observed to increase digit vigilance reaction time’ should read as ‘blackcurrant has been observed to decrease digit vigilance reaction time’.

Concepts: Fruit, Wine, Grape, Blackcurrant


Volatile constituents of fresh blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum L.) berries were isolated via vacuum-headspace extraction and analyzed by capillary gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. In agreement with previous studies with frozen fruits, short-chain esters and terpenes were major compound classes. However, rather high concentrations of C6-compounds (e.g. (E)-hex-2-enal, (Z)-hex-3-enal) constituted a striking difference to data reported for frozen fruits. Storage of frozen blackcurrant berries was shown to result in drastically reduced concentrations of C6-compounds and a shift of the volatile profile in favor of terpenes. The time-dependent enzymatic formation and isomerization of C6-compounds adds an additional element of variability to the spectrum of fresh blackcurrant volatiles. Nevertheless, blackcurrant cultivars can be classified according to the major classes of the volatiles of the fresh fruits, if prerequisites, such as the same growing location and the same state of ripeness are met. The sensory contributions of volatiles of blackcurrant berries were assessed by gas chromatography-olfactometry in combination with aroma extract dilution analysis. 4-Methoxy-2-methyl-2-butanethiol, (Z)-3-hexenal, ethyl butanoate, 1,8-cineole, oct-1-en-3-one and alkyl-substituted 3-methoxypyrazines were among the volatiles showing the highest aroma activity values.

Concepts: Vitamin C, Fruit, Grape, Berries, Blackcurrant, Redcurrant, Ribes, Gooseberry


Juice was pressed from black currants without enzyme treatment (NEB=Non-Enzymatic Berry) followed by re-pressing of the residue with enzymes (EPR=Enzymatic Press Residue) and the results were compared to the conventional enzyme-aided berry pressing (EB=Enzymatic Berry). EPR-juice had 9- and 5-fold higher contents of phenolic compounds compared with the NEB- and EB-juices, respectively. Effect of the low content and stability of phenolics was noticed as loss of the visual color in the NEB-juice during storage. The decrease in monomeric anthocyanins and the increase in phenolic acids were most severe in the NEB-juice, whereas the most significant decline in hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives occurred in the enzyme-treated juices. Storage in light induced less change in the phenolic composition in EPR-juice than in the two other juices. The study gave new knowledge on changes in individual metabolites, in sensory properties and in the shelf life of berry juices.

Concepts: Alcohol, Phenols, Pasteurization, Phenolic compounds in wine, Grape, Press, Anthocyanin, Blackcurrant


Rare red currants colors caused by low anthocyanin content in the pink and a lack of anthocyanins in the white cultivar correlated with low ANS gene expression, enzyme activity, and increased sugar/acid ratios. Changes in the contents of polyphenols, sugars, and organic acids in berries of the three differently colored Ribes rubrum L. cultivars (‘Jonkheer van Tets’, ‘Pink Champagne’, and ‘Zitavia’) were determined by LC-MS and HPLC at 4 sampling times during the last month of fruit ripening. The activities of the main flavonoid enzymes, chalcone synthase/chalcone isomerase (CHS/CHI), flavanone 3-hydroxylase (FHT), and dihydroflavonol 4-reductase (DFR), and the expression of anthocyanidin synthase (ANS) were additionally measured. Despite many attempts, activities of flavonol synthase and glycosyltransferase did not show reliable results, the reason of which they could not be demonstrated in this study. The pink fruited cultivar ‘Pink Champagne’ showed generally lower enzyme activity than the red cultivar ‘Jonkheer van Tets’. The white cultivar ‘Zitavia’ showed very low CHS/CHI activity and ANS expression and no FHT and DFR activities were detected. The DFR of R. rubrum L. clearly preferred dihydromyricetin as substrate although no 3',4',5'-hydroxylated anthocyanins were present. The anthocyanin content of the red cultivar slightly increased during the last three weeks of ripening and reached a maximum of 890 mg kg(-1) FW. Contrary to this, the pink cultivar showed low accumulation of anthocyanins; however, in the last three weeks of ripening, their content increased from 14 to 105 mg kg(-1) FW. Simultaneously, the content of polyphenols slightly decreased in all 3 cultivars, while the sugar/acid ratio increased. The white cultivar had no anthocyanins, but the sugar/acid ratios were the highest. In the white and pink cultivars, reduction/lack of anthocyanins was mainly compensated by increased relative concentrations of hydroxycinnamic acids and flavonols.

Concepts: Enzyme, Color, PH, Fruit, Anthocyanin, Blackcurrant, Redcurrant, Zante currant