Bilberries (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) and black currants (Ribes nigrum L.), dark blue berries rich in anthocyanins, were processed with an aid of commercial pectinolytic enzyme preparations, and the effect of processing on berry anthocyanins was investigated. The enzyme preparations were dosed based on their polygalacturonase activity from 1 to 100 nkat/g of berry mash. The juice yields were determined by weighing, and anthocyanin analyses were performed with HPLC. The bilberry and black currant juice yields increased significantly in enzyme-aided treatments with comparison to control, even with the lowest (1 nkat/g) polygalacturonase dosage. The anthocyanin yield increased by up to 83% for bilberries and up to 58% for black currants in enzyme-aided treatments as compared to control. The results showed that higher polygalacturonase dosage was needed for black currant to achieve the maximal juice and anthocyanin yields than for bilberries. The stability and the profile of extracted anthocyanins were greatly affected by the glycosidase side activities present in the enzyme preparations, which were able to hydrolyze certain anthocyanins to the corresponding aglycones. In addition, the data indicate that anthocyanidin rutinosides were more easily extracted than those of glucosides, which prevailed over the arabinosides and galactosides. Thus, prior to processing it is important to know the intact anthocyanin structures of the raw material, and the activity profile of the enzyme preparation to obtain optimal anthocyanin extractability and enzyme dosage.
- Black currant