Honors College


Kyle Rousseau

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date

Spring 2014


Aronia is a deciduous shrub native to the northeastern United States, with many varieties of berry colors. They are colloquially known as chokeberries and they are typically utilized to make wine, jam, juice, tea and extracts. These berries are known to contain many polyphenols, and this research examined a subclass called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are pigment molecules common to all higher plants which change color from red to purple to blue depending on pH. It is believed that these pigments are used to attract animals to the fruit for seed dispersal and they are known to protect cells from light damage by absorbing UV rays. Anthocyanins are also antioxidants and have analgesic, neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects. There is little data published on the relative concentrations of anthocyanins found in these berries. The aim of this research was to establish a working procedure to identify and quantify anthocyanins found in Aronia using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) via modified methods in the peer reviewed literature. The compounds were extracted using methanol acidified with citric acid. These samples were then compared to four analytical standards, which were cyanidin-3-glucoside, cyanidin-3-galactoside, cyanidin-3-xyloside and pelargondin-3-glucoside. A multi-step gradient was utilized with the eluents A: acetonitrile and B: 0.1% trifluouroacetic acid and detected compounds at a wavelength of 520 nm. The data produced from this research will be useful for identifying and quantifying anthocyanins in berries and value added product.