Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) is rich in flavonoids (major part anthocyanins), tannins, phenolic and organic acids, and other biologically active compounds. Anthocianins possess a broad spectrum of therapeutic properties. Variation in anthocyanin content of bilberry fruit crude drugs is significant in optimizing collection conditions. Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) crude drug samples were collected in July–September of 2006 in natural environment in the territory of Lithuania. Ultrasonic extraction was applied using methanol as solvent. Acidic hydrolysis was performed. Qualitative and quantitative composition of five major anthocyanidins (delphinidin, cyanidin, petunidin, peonidin, and malvidin) was estimated by high-performance liquid chromatography in frozen fruits. Cyanidin predominated in all crude drug samples. Dynamics of variation in qualitative and quantitative composition of anthocyanidins was estimated in bilberry fruits collected during vegetation period. The greatest total amount of all analyzed anthocyanidins was determined at the end of investigated period. Variation in qualitative and quantitative content of anthocyanidins in bilberry fruits collected in different regions of Lithuania was estimated as well. The greatest total amounts of anthocyanidins were found in samples collected in Krikštoniai forest (1.78%) and Prienai pinewood (2.13%) and the lowest amounts – in samples collected in Balkasodis forest (1.14%) and Ryliškės forest (0.99%). Significant variation in anthocyanidin content reaching 28.40% (delphinidin) was determined in bilberry fruits. It is important for the standardization of bilberry fruit crude drugs.
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