Date of this Version
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jafr.2021.100248 Received 6 October 2021; Received in revised form 29 November 2021; Accepted 29 November 2021
Available online 1 December 2021 2666-1543/© 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
The goal of this study was to determine how the date of harvest impacts the quality characteristics of Aronia mitschurinii (A. K. Skvortsov and Maitul.) ‘Viking’ and ‘Galicjanka’ berries. Aronia berries were collected from farms in the Midwestern and Northeastern United States over seven weeks of harvest during 2018, 2019 and 2020. The berries were analyzed for total phenol, anthocyanins, proanthocyanins, sugar, and acid. Aronia berry composition modestly deviated between each year of the study. Berries harvested in 2018 had the highest total phenols and proanthocyanidins, both increasing in content from weeks 1–5 from 15.90 ± 3.15–19.65 mg gallic acid equivalents/g fw, a 24% increase, and 2.22 ± 0.40–2.94 mg (+)-catechin equivalents/g fw, a 32% increase, respectively. Berries harvested in 2019 had the lowest total phenol and proanthocyanidin levels and had increasing anthocyanins until week 4. In 2020, aronia berry proanthocyanidins differed from those in 2018 by having 38% lower levels after the 4th week. Across years, berries had increasing ◦Brix, ◦Brix: acid, and pH throughout the seven weeks of harvest. Additionally, all years had slight, but statistically insignificant decreases in acidity over the harvest period. Moreover, analysis from berries collected in 2019 suggests no significant difference in quality factors between Viking and Galicjanka aronia cultivars. In conclusion, aronia berry total phenols, proanthocyanidins, pH, and berry size can be significantly affected by the growing year and time of harvest. Acidity was impacted more by growing year than harvest week. In contrast, anthocyanins and ◦Brix were consistent between years, but influenced considerably by the week of harvest.