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Abstract Detail

Society for Economic Botany/BSA Economic Botany Section

Brown, Paula [1], Murch, Susan [1].

The Traditional and Modern Uses of Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.) and Related species.

Moerman (1998) reports the use of wild cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon) by the Algonquin,Chippewa, Ojibwa and Iroquois in baked, dried and raw foods, mixed with cornbreads and sold as cash crops. Berries were gathered from August through the fall, even when still unripe, allowed to ripen and then eaten either fresh or cooked (Kuhnlein HV and Turner NJ, 1996). In traditional preparation of pemmican,cranberries were sometimes mixed with meat and melted fat of large game animals such as buffalo, elk or deer. Likewise,Turner (2004) reported that the indigenous people of Haida Gwaii used 2 species of cranberry native to their region, viz. Vacciniumoxycoccus L and Vaccinium vitis-ideaeL as dried or preserved fruits, usually cooked for a long time before eating. In the modern marketplace, cranberry (V. Macrocarpon) is one of the significant success stories of the functional foods industry. Cranberries are perhaps most well known for the treatment and prevention of Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs). Research suggests that phytochemical constituents of cranberry inhibit Escherichia coli from adhering to uroepithelial cells in the urinary tract or may reduce symptoms of UTI through broader anti-inflammatory effects. However, the specific individual cranberry compounds responsible for the medicinal effects remain to be identified. The overall objectives of our research were to document the growth and harvest of cranberry from field plots in the lower mainland of British Columbia and wild populations of native BC cranberries from the Haida Gwaii, to compare the concentrations of known cranberry anthocyanins in samples from across BC and to determine whether the Haida Gwaii collections had similar compositions of medicinal metabolites. There was an average anthocyanin content of 7.8% in the commercially grown cranberries with a highest concentration of 14.2%. Overall anthocyanins containing galactose as the sugar moiety were present in significantly higher amounts than the corresponding arabinoside counterparts and glycosylated peonidin was present in higher levels than glycosylated cyanidin in most berries. Together, these data provide foundational knowledge about the chemotaxonomy of the Vaccinium genus and provide new insights into the maintenance of health in the traditional diets of North Americans.

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1 - University of British Columbia, Chemistry, 3333 University Way, Kelowna, BC, V1V 1V7, Canada

Vaccinium macrocarpon
Haida Gwaii

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 09
Location: Maryland Room/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Monday, July 11th, 2011
Time: 10:15 AM
Number: 09001
Abstract ID:108

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