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Haskap Berries (Lonicera caerulea L.)—a Critical Review of Antioxidant Capacity and Health-Related Studies for Potential Value-Added Products

Abstract

Haskap berries commonly refer to fruits of Lonicera caerulea L., recognized by the Japanese aborigines as the “elixir of life.” Due to their recent arrival on the North American market, haskap berries have not yet been positioned among other berries and compared in terms of their phytochemical content. Haskap berries have higher ascorbic acid and anthocyanin content than other berries known for their health-promoting benefits, such as blueberries. In this article, we give a brief description of the phytochemical content and limitations of current methods used for their quantification, as well as a critical review of the techniques available to assess the antioxidant capacity of haskap extract in comparison to other berries. We then present results from recent studies with haskap extracts used in in vitro (bacterial and human cell cultures), preclinical trials (in animal models), and a first-in-human study to assess the implications for human health. Finally, we discuss current commercial products and the potential of encapsulation technology to preserve the bioactivity and increase stability of the extracts, thus creating a new range of value-added haskap products.

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Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge the National Council for Research and Development (CNPq—Brazil) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada for financial support.

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Correspondence to Marianne Su Ling Brooks.

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Celli, G.B., Ghanem, A. & Brooks, M.S. Haskap Berries (Lonicera caerulea L.)—a Critical Review of Antioxidant Capacity and Health-Related Studies for Potential Value-Added Products. Food Bioprocess Technol 7, 1541–1554 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11947-014-1301-2

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Keywords

  • Blue honeysuckle
  • Vitamin C
  • Phenolics
  • Antioxidants
  • Encapsulation