Aronia (also known as the chokeberry) is a plant that is characterised with many health benefits, on account of its high content of antioxidants, which are vital to human health. The origin of its use can be traced back to native Americans who used it as a remedy for many illnesses, as well as for the preservation of meats and fruits. The highest levels of antioxidants in the plant consist of polyphenols, more specifically anthocyanins, which give it its signature colour along with proanthocyanin and tannin, responsible for the characteristic bitter taste. The latest studies show that the chokeberry has also beneficial effects on the aging process, decrease of cancer cells, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes.
In the diploma work we used frozen berries of the aronia to produce ethanol extracts and checked the total inclusion of polyphenols and anthocyanins based on the plant’s growth location facing the sun. We confirmed the presence of polyphenols with a Folin-Ciocalteu reagent and by measuring the absorbance of the samples and the standard, in our case we used gallic acid. As the confirmation method for the presence of anthocyanins, we used 0,1 M HCl solution. Even in this instance we measured the absorbance and calculated the results by gaining the presence of anthocyanins in mg/g.
The results revealed that both polyphenols and anthocyanins dominate in berries in the shady side, but the difference is very slight. We noticed bigger differences between shady and suuny side in content of total anthocyanins in bushes two and three. The bush number two had a content of anthocyanins that was almost a half increased in berries in the shady side than in sunny, but in the bush number three the higher levels were found in the fruits growing in the sunny side. When calculating the standard deviations, we can observe that the differences between the fruits are significant and also the T-tests show that the results are insignificant. Therefore, the claim that growth position (facing sun or shade) influences the levels of antioxidants in the plant cannot be confirmed nor rejected.