Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry study of lipids in northern berries
University of Latvia, Raina blvd. 19, Riga, LV-1586, Latvia
Wild berries from forests and bogs of Northern Europe are an excellent source of natural antioxidants, vitamins and fatty acids, all of which are substances with high biological activity. This study investigates lipids extracted from fresh and powdered berries, using low-polarity solvents (chloroform, diethyl ether and others) and a mixture of chloroform and methanol. Berry lipids were analysed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. The following berries were analysed: blueberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.), bilberry (Vaccinium uliginosum L.), two cultivars of highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.), lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.), cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus L.), black crowberry (Empetrum nigrum L.), cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccos L.) and rowanberry (Sorbus aucuparia L.). One hundred and elevencompounds were identified and quantified in the 9 species of analysed berries. The lipid fraction contained compound classes like fatty acids, sterols, triterpenoids, alkanes, phenolic and carboxylic acids and carotenoids. All fresh berries contained high amounts of C18 unsaturated fatty acids (for example, up to 102 μg g-1 of blueberries) and phytosterols (86 μg of β-sitosterol g-1 of blueberries), and high amounts of benzoic acid were found in lingonberries (164 μg g-1). The analysed berry lipid profiles were compared using the principal component analysis and hierarchical cluster analysis. The two analyses showed that the lipid profiles of the studied berries reflect their taxonomy.