Advances in Fruit Breeding In Eastern Canada - Role of Phytochemicals in Designing Specialty Fruits.


Khanizadeh, S., Tsao, R., Rékika, D., Yang, R., Charles, M.T., and Rupasinghe, H.P.V. (2009). "Advances in Fruit Breeding In Eastern Canada - Role of Phytochemicals in Designing Specialty Fruits.", Acta Horticulturae (ISHS), 814, pp. 205-208.


High dietary intake of fruits and vegetables rich in phytochemicals, particularly those with antioxidant activity, has been linked to reduced risks of many chronic diseases including cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Value-added foods and nutraceuticals containing such bioactive phytochemicals have been popular and made available in the market. Many factors affect the phytochemical concentration in fruits including farming practices, environmental factors and microclimate including the production methods, fruit maturity, and pre- and post-harvest handling of the fruits, but the genetic factor probably has the greatest effect on the biosynthesis of antioxidant secondary metabolites. A large variation of antioxidant concentrations exists within apple, strawberry, and raspberry cultivars and breeding lines, and it is possible to use this as a marker to develop new lines. The increase and/or decrease in phytochemical can both be useful in designing fruits: elevated concentration of antioxidants could extend the shelf life and reduce the incidence of diseases; and modulation of specific antioxidants can be use as a tool to change the specific quality characteristics of a fruit. Several examples like new raspberries and strawberries rich in phytochemical and post-cut non-browning apples low in certain antioxidants will be presented and discussed.