The levels of anthocyanins and other flavonoids, as well as melatonin, in various tart cherry products (frozen and dried cherries, powders from individually quick frozen (IQF) cherry and juice concentrate) from two tart cherry cultivars, ‘Montmorency’ and ‘Balaton’ were analysed comparatively by HPLC and electrospray mass spectrometry (EMS). Our results show that the major anthocyanin compound in these two tart cherry cultivars is cyanidin 3-glucosylrutinoside, followed by cyanidin 3-rutinoside, cyanydin sophoroside, and peonidin 3-glucoside. Studies on antioxidant activities (total antioxidant status assay) of crude extracts of ten tart cherry products show that these products preserve their antioxidant capacities after processing and storage. We have also compared the antioxidant activities of several single constituents that are present in tart cherry. When TEAC (trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity) values were evaluated conceptually against the cherry phytochemical profile, cyanidin and its derivatives were found to be the significant contributors to the antioxidant systems of tart cherries. It was shown that standard compounds with common aglycon moieties show similar antioxidant activities.
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