This study describes the first application of a new procedure for acid hydrolysis of Rubus ellagitannins in methanol, which allows quantification of all the major reaction products (ellagic acid, methyl-sanguisorboate, methyl gallate and an unknown ellagic acid derivative) and estimation of the mean degree of polymerization (mDP) of Rubus ellagitannins. The ellagitannins of 21 raspberry and 15 blackberry cultivars produced in Trentino, Italy during 2005 were extracted and characterised. The total content of ellagitannins was shown to vary by a factor of 2 among raspberry cultivars and by a factor of 4 among blackberry cultivars.
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This research was funded through the ‘Fondo Unico’ of the Autonomous Province of Trento, Italy, as a part of InterBerry project. We are grateful to Arianna Palchetti for her collaboration in this research.