Quality attributes of cultivated white crowberries (Corema album (L.) D. Don) from a multi-origin clonal field

Abstract

There is a growing interest in Corema album (L.) D. Don fruits due to the unique white colour, mildly acidic lemony flavour and health-promoting properties associated with its bioactive composition. This study performs a physical–chemical characterisation of cultivated C. album fruits from a multi-origin clonal field. The field comprises ten wild populations with distinct geographical origins, grown under the same edaphoclimatic conditions. We analysed fruits CIELab colour parameters, texture profile (TPA), pH, acidity (TA, g.100 mL−1), soluble solids content (SSC, %) and total phenolic content (TPC, mg CAE.100 g−1). Our results showed differences between fruits physical–chemical attributes. Variation patterns in fruits SSC and hardness suggest that the differences might be related to the original geographical location of the populations. The determined TPC levels in all samples were very encouraging at a bioactive level, ranging from 185.3 to 355.6 mg CAE.100 g−1. Fruits from Mira and Pego populations stood out from the ten geographical provenances. Mira fruit samples had higher sweetness and lower acidity, while the Pego ones had firmer fruits and higher phenolic content. The multi-origin clonal field allowed us to offer an interesting scientific comparative background, highlighting the large potential of these berries for introduction in the commercial market. Not only our results support the potential of white crowberry as a new crop; the detected differences also indicate a hidden capacity for small fruit market diversification.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4

References

  1. Åkerström A, Jaakola L, Bång U, Jaderlund A (2010) Effects of latitude-related factors and geographical origin on anthocyanidin concentrations in fruits of Vaccinium myrtillus L. (bilberries). J Agric Food Chem 58(22):11939–11945. https://doi.org/10.1021/jf102407n

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Alegria C, Abreu M, Máguas C, Giovanetti M (2020) Winter collection of the underutilized berry Corema album (L.): new insights on its maturation progression. Agri Res Tech Open Access J. 24(4):556274. https://doi.org/10.19080/ARTOAJ.2020.24.556274

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Álvarez-Cansino L, Díaz-Barradas MC, Zunzunegui M, Esquivias MP, Dawson TE (2012) Gender-specific variation in physiology in the dioecious shrub Corema album throughout its distributional range. Funct Plant Biol 39(12):968–978. https://doi.org/10.1071/FP12131

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Andrade SC, Guiné RP (2017) Gonçalves FJ (2017a) Evaluation of phenolic compounds, antioxidant activity and bioaccessibility in white crowberry (Corema album). J Food Meas Charact 11(4):1936–1946. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11694-017-9576-4

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Andrade SC, Gonçalves F, Guiné R (2017) Contribution for the physical-chemical characterization of Portuguese Crowberry (Corema album). Int J Food Sci Nutr 2(4):9–14

    Google Scholar 

  6. Castroviejo S, Aedo C, Gómez Campo C, Laínz M, Montserrat P, Morales R, Muñoz Garmendia F, Nieto Felinier G, Rico E, Talavera S, Villar L (1993) Flora Ibérica. Plantas vasculares de la Península Ibérica e Islas Baleares. Cruciferae-Monotropaceae Vol. IV. Real Jardim Botánico, C.S.I.C., Madrid. https://bibdigital.rjb.csic.es/idurl/1/9900

  7. Chiabrando V, Giacalonea G, Rolle L (2009) Mechanical behaviour and quality traits of highbush blueberry during postharvest storage. J Sci Food Agric 89:989–992. https://doi.org/10.1002/jsfa.3544

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. De Mendiburu F (2019) Agricolae: statistical procedures for agricultural research. R package version. 1.3-1. http://cran.r-project.org/package=agricolae

  9. Diaz-Barradas MC, Costa C, Correia O, León-González AJ, Navarro-Zafra I, Zunzunegui M, Álvarez-Cansino L, Martín-Cordero C (2016) Pentacyclic triterpenes responsible for photoprotection of Corema album (L.) D. Don white berries. Biochem Syst Ecol 67:103–109. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bse.2016.05.009

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Font-Quer P (1993) Plantas medicinales: El Dioscórides renovado. Labor, Barcelona

  11. Gil-López MJ (2011) Etnobotánica de la camarina (Corema album, Empetraceae) en Cádiz. Acta Bot Malacitana 36:137–144. https://doi.org/10.24310/abm.v36i1.2784

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Giovanelli G, Buratti S (2009) Comparison of polyphenolic composition and antioxidant activity of wild Italian blueberries and some cultivated varieties. Food Chem 112(4):903–908. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2008.06.066

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. González G (2006) Los árboles y arbustos de la Península Ibérica e Islas Baleares. Mundi-Prensa, Madrid

  14. Harrell Jr FE (2014) Hmisc package version 4.1-1. https://cran.r-projects.org/package=Hmisc

  15. Heredia JB, Cisneros-Zevallos L (2009) The effect of exogenous ethylene and methyl jasmonate on pal activity, phenolic profiles and antioxidant capacity of carrots (Daucus carota) under different wounding intensities. Postharvest Biol Technol 51(2):242–249. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.postharvbio.2008.07.001

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Howell A, Kalt W, Duy JC, Forney CF, McDonald JE (2001) Horticultural factors affecting antioxidant capacity of blueberries and other small fruit. Horttechnology 11(4):523–528. https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTTECH.11.4.523

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Jacinto J, Oliveira PB, Valdiviesso T, Capelo J, Arsénio P, Nóbrega F (2020) Genetic diversity assessment among Corema album (L.) D. Don (Ericaceae) genotypes based on ISSR markers and agro-morphological traits. Genet. Resour. Crop Evol. 67(3):715–726. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10722-019-00849-8

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Kassambara A, Mundt F (2017) Factoextra: extract and visualize the results of multivariate data analyses. R package version 1.0.4. https://cran.r-project.org/package=factoextra

  19. Larrigaudière C, Lentheric I, Puy J, Pintó E (2004) Biochemical characterisation of core browning and brown heart disorder in pear by multivariate analysis. Postharvest Biol Technol 31:29–39. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0925-5214(03)00132-7

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Larrinaga AR, Guitián P (2016) Intraspecific variation in fruit size and shape in Corema album (Ericaceae) along a latitudinal gradient: from fruits to populations. Biol J Linn Soc Lond 118(4):940–950. https://doi.org/10.1111/bij.12794

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. León-González AJ, Mateos R, Ramos S, Martín MÁ, Sarriá B, Martín-Cordero C et al (2012) Chemo-protective activity and characterization of phenolic extracts from Corema album. Food Res Int 49(2):728–738. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2012.09.016

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  22. León-González AJ, Truchado P, Tomás-Barberán FA, López-Lázaro M, Díaz-Barradas MC, Martín-Cordero C (2013) Phenolic acids, flavonols and anthocyanins in Corema album (L.) D. Don berries. J Food Compost Anal 29(1):58–63. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfca.2012.10.003

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Li J, Alexander Iii J, Ward T, Del Tredici P, Nicholson R (2002) Phylogenetic relationships of Empetraceae inferred from sequences of chloroplast gene matK and nuclear ribosomal DNA ITS region. Mol Phylogenet Evol 25(2):306–315. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1055-7903(02)00241-5

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  24. Liu B, Wang K, Shu X, Liang J, Fan X, Sun L (2019) Changes in fruit firmness, quality traits and cell wall constituents of two highbush blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) during postharvest cold storage. Sci Hortic 246:557–562. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scienta.2018.11.042

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Lobos TE, Retamales JB, Ortega-Farías S, Hanson EJ, López-Olivari R, Mora ML (2018) Regulated deficit irrigation effects on physiological parameters, yield, fruit quality and antioxidants of Vaccinium corymbosum plants cv. Brigitta Irrig Sci 36(1):49–60. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00271-017-0564-6

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Martínez-Varea CM, Ferrer-Gallego PP, Raigón MD, Badal E, Ferrando-Pardo I, Laguna E, Villaverde V (2019) Corema album archaeobotanical remains in western Mediterranean basin. Assessing fruit consumption during Upper Palaeolithic in Cova de les Cendres (Alicante, Spain). Quatern Sci Rev 207:1–12. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2019.01.004

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Ochmian I, Grajkowski J, Skupień K (2009) Influence of substrate on yield and chemical composition of highbush blueberry fruit cv Sierra. J Fruit Ornam Plant Res 17(1):89–100

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  28. Oliveira PB, Dale A (2012) Corema album (L.) D Don, the white crowberry—a new crop. J Berry Res 2(3):123–133. https://doi.org/10.3233/JBR-2012-033

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Oliveira PB, Luz FR, Magalhães T, Lisboa A, Oliveira CM, Valdiviesso T (2020a) Propagação vegetativa e seminal em Corema album (L.) D. Don Actas Portuguesas de Horticultura 30:347–356

    Google Scholar 

  30. Oliveira PB, Valdiviesso T, Luz FR (2020b) Melhoramento Genético da camarinha; Seleção e Avaliação de plantas. Actas Portuguesas de Horticultura 30:338–346

    Google Scholar 

  31. Pimpão RC, Dew T, Oliveira PB, Williamson G, Ferreira RB, Santos CN (2013) Analysis of phenolic compounds in Portuguese wild and commercial berries after multienzyme hydrolysis. J Agric Food Chem 61(17):4053–4062. https://doi.org/10.1021/jf305498j

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  32. R Core Team. R: A language and environment for statistical computing (2013) R foundation for statistical computing, Vienna, Austria. ISBN 3-900051-07-0. http://www.Rproject.org/

  33. Rohloff J, Uleberg E, Nes A, Krogstad T, Nestby R, Martinussen I (2015) Nutritional composition of bilberries (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) from forest fields in Norway-Effects of geographic origin, climate, fertilization and soil properties. J Appl Bot Food Qual 88:274–287. https://doi.org/10.5073/JABFQ.2015.088.040

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Routray W, Orsat V (2011) Blueberries and their anthocyanins: factors affecting biosynthesis and properties. Compr Rev Food Sci Food Saf 10(6):303–320. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1541-4337.2011.00164.x

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Saftner R, Polashock J, Ehlenfeldt M, Vinyard B (2008) Instrumental and sensory quality characteristics of blueberry fruit from twelve cultivars. Postharvest Biol Technol 49(1):19–26. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.postharvbio.2008.01.008

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Simmonds NW (1979) Principles of crop improvement. Longman, Harlow, p 408

    Google Scholar 

  37. Tomás-Barberán FA, Espín JC (2001) Phenolic compounds and related enzymes as determinants of quality in fruits and vegetables. J Sci Food Agric 81(9):853–876. https://doi.org/10.1002/jsfa.885

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Valdés B, Talavera S, Fernández Galiano E (1987) Flora vascular de Andalucía Occidental. Ketres, Barcelona

    Google Scholar 

  39. Zunzunegui M, Díaz-Barradas MC, Clavijo A, Álvarez-Cansino L, Lhout FA, Novo FG (2006) Ecophysiology, growth timing and reproductive effort of three sexual foms of Corema album (Empetraceae). Plant Ecol 183(1):35–46. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11258-005-9004-4

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

Authors JJ, MG, CM and CA acknowledge financial support from Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT), through the strategic project UIDB/00329/2020 granted to the Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes, cE3c, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa. Author CA also acknowledges the financial support from FCT, through a postdoctoral fellowship (SFRH/BPD/126703/2016). The white crowberry clonal field established at "Herdade Experimental da Fataca" was funded by the Operational Group ‘‘CompetitiveSouthBerries’’ (Partnership no. 21/Initiative no. 29/PDR2020-101-031721) which was co-financed by the PDR2020, Portugal 2020 and the European Commission.

Funding

Authors JJ, MG, CM and CA acknowledge financial support from Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT), through the strategic project UIDB/00329/2020 granted to the Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes, cE3c, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa. Author CA also acknowledges the financial support from FCT, through a postdoctoral fellowship (SFRH/BPD/126703/2016). The white crowberry clonal field established at "Herdade Experimental da Fataca" was funded by the Operational Group ‘‘CompetitiveSouthBerries’’ (Partnership no. 21/Initiative no. 29/PDR2020-101-031721) which was co-financed by the PDR2020, Portugal 2020 and the European Commission.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Carla Alegria.

Ethics declarations

Conflicts of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest to report. The funders had no role in the design of the study; in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript, or in the decision to publish the results.

Availability of data and material

The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author, CA, upon reasonable request.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Supplementary Information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Jacinto, J., Giovanetti, M., Oliveira, P.B. et al. Quality attributes of cultivated white crowberries (Corema album (L.) D. Don) from a multi-origin clonal field. Euphytica 217, 40 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10681-021-02767-2

Download citation

Keywords

  • Cultivated plant populations
  • Geographic provenance
  • Fruit quality
  • Hardness
  • Soluble solids content
  • Phenolic content