Comparative analysis of secondary metabolites contents in Fragaria vesca L. fruits.
The benefits resulting from the use of natural products rich in bioactive substances have promoted a growing interest from pharmaceutical, food and cosmetic industries. It is established that oxidation processes are involved in various chronic and degenerative diseases and that the intake of chemical constituents with antioxidant activity, found in plants in high concentrations, has beneficial effects on health. Phenolic compounds and anthocyanins, two large and heterogeneous groups of biologically active non-nutrients, are known to be dietary components in fruits and vegetables with antioxidant activities. Phenolic compounds are secondary plant metabolites that are widespread in the vegetable kingdom. In strawberries the phenolic compounds are present as ellagic and p-coumaric acid; and the flavonoids as quercetin, kaempferol and myricetin. Anthocyanins consist of a group of phenolic compounds responsible for the red-blue color of many fruits and vegetables. They are glycosylated polyhydroxy or polymethoxy derivatives of 2-phenylbenzopyrylium or flavilium salts (Mazza & Miniati, 1993). Pelargonidin 3-glucoside, with cyanidin 3-glucoside and pelargonidin 3-rutinoside are the main anthocyanins found in strawberries. Several studies have shown that strawberries generally possess a high level of antioxidant activity, which is