Antioxidant, Flavonoid Content of Organic vs. Conventional Blueberries

Background and methodology:

Researchers from USDA’s Genetic Improvement of Fruit and Vegetable Laboratory and Rutgers University tested blueberries grown on five organic and conventional farms in New Jersey that shared the same soil, weather, and harvesting conditions. The effect of cultivation practices on fruit quality and antioxidant capacity in Bluecrop variety (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) of highbush blueberries was evaluated from random samples of commercial late harvest fields.


Results from this study showed that blueberries grown organically had a significantly higher sugar content (fructose and glucose), malic acid, total phenolics, total anthocyanins, and antioxidant activity (ORAC) than fruit grown conventionally. The organic blueberries contained about 50 percent higher levels of total anthocyanins, the natural plant phytochemicals that give blueberries their dark color. They also had 67 percent more total phenolics. The organic production system produced fruit with higher contents of myricetin 3-arabinoside, quercetin 3-glucoside, delphinidin 3-galactoside, delphinidin 3-glucoside, delphinidin 3-arabinoside, petunidin 3-galactoside, petunidin 3-glucoside, and malvidin 3-arabinoside than the conventional system.


Wang, S. Y., Chen, C. T., Sciarappa, W., Wang, C. Y., & Camp, M. J.,(2008). Fruit quality, antioxidant capacity, and flavonoid content of organically and conventionally grown Blueberries. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 56 (14), 5788–5794.Available on-line at: