With plant promoting of bioactivity on human health also consumers awareness for beneficial influences that they might have to their health is increasing. Health influences are often connected with antioxidants such as anthocyanins and other polyphenols. Epidemiological studies have established a positive correlation between the intake of fruits, vegetables, herbs and berries and prevention of diseases like atherosclerosis, cancer, diabetes, arthritis and ageing.
This research is aimed in identifying he alth promoting phenols including anthocyanins, phenolic acids and their derivates in various extracts of arctic wild berries as bilberry, cloudberry and lingonberry and different authentic Nordic herbs. Bioforsk Nord Holt is involved in one project on met abolic profiling of anthocyanins in cloudberry and raspberry. The aim of this project is to investigate the effect of genetics and climate on quality and production of berries. The knowledge shall be used in breeding programs directed to new varieties wit h an increased level of antioxidants in addition to other valuable characters as good yield and taste. The guest researcher will be involved in this project doing analysis on total phenols, total anthocyanins and metabolic profiling using LC/MS and/or GC/ MS.
In addition to the work on berries, researcher will work in a project doing bioprospecting of arctic herbs. This is a new project owned by a cosmetic company that is looking for plant extracts/compounds with positive effects on human skin. Firstly, k nowledge from the use of herbs in folk medicine in Northern Norway and North Russia shall be gathered, and used in a directed collection of several plant species. Water soluble and organic extracts of different plant species will be fractionated to approx imately 40 fractions (per extract) before testing for biological effects. The fractions will be tested for antioxidant capacity using FRAP and ORAC methods and for antibacterial effects using MIC analysis.