University of Oulu

Klavins, L.; Maaga, I.; Bertins, M.; Hykkerud, A.L.; Karppinen, K.; Bobinas, Č.; Salo, H.M.; Nguyen, N.; Salminen, H.; Stankevica, K.; Klavins, M. Trace Element Concentration and Stable Isotope Ratio Analysis in Blueberries and Bilberries: A Tool for Quality and Authenticity Control. Foods 2021, 10, 567.

Trace element concentration and stable isotope ratio analysis in blueberries and bilberries : a tool for quality and authenticity control

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Author: Klavins, Linards1; Maaga, Inessa1; Bertins, Maris2;
Organizations: 1Department of Environmental Science, University of Latvia, LV-1004 Riga, Latvia
2Faculty of Chemistry, University of Latvia, LV-1004 Riga, Latvia
3Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, 1433 Ås, Norway
4Department of Arctic and Marine Biology, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, 9037 Tromsø, Norway
5Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry, 58344 Kėdainiai, Lithuania
6Ecology and Genetics Research Unit, University of Oulu, 90570 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-05-20


Vaccinium genus berries—wild bilberries (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) and cultivated highbush blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum L.)—are consumed worldwide, and their consumption has a trend of stable increase. Thus, considering their wide use in ethnomedicine, for juice and jam production, as functional food, as well as their use in preparations of extracts which have application potential in pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries, studies regarding the composition of these berries are of special importance. The aim of this study is to characterise the elemental and isotopic composition, as well as variation in element concentration in bilberries gathered from different sites in Northern Europe and in commercially available blueberry samples from across the World. Furthermore, our aim was to develop tools for authenticity and quality control of these berries. The elemental composition of berries was analysed using inductively coupled plasma with optical emission detection (ICP-OED), while isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) was used for the determination of isotope ratio values. The results demonstrated detectable differences between macro- and microelement values in bilberries. IRMS analysis of blueberries revealed significant differences in isotope ratios based on the place of origin, indicating the possibility to use this analytical method for authenticity testing. In none of the samples, pollution was detected, even though there were indications of different growth conditions and geochemical differences affecting bilberry composition.

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Series: Foods
ISSN: 2304-8158
ISSN-E: 2304-8158
ISSN-L: 2304-8158
Volume: 10
Issue: 3
Article number: 567
DOI: 10.3390/foods10030567
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Funding: This research was funded by the Interreg BSR project R079 ‘NovelBaltic—Market driven authentic non-timber forest products from the Baltic region—focus on wild and semi cultivated species with business potential’. Work of L. Klavins was supported by the patron ‘Mikrotıkls’ Ltd. administered by the Foundation of University of Latvia.
Copyright information: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (