Nutritional Benefits Of Aronia Berries

There has been a growing interest recently in Aronia berries, or chokeberries. This is both because of its naturally inherent value as a nutritive supplement, but also from the point of view of its broader health benefits.
Nutritional Benefits of Aronia Berries
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Aronia berries are one of the richest natural sources health supplemental nutritional elements. This fruit that was noticed only recently by the human race offers interesting possibility of processing and use, both as a health supplement and a natural food. However, not everybody seems to have waken to its benefits as yet.

 

ARONIA BERRIES are one of the latest fruits to be discovered by humans, and it is discovered more because of its nutritional wealth rather than somewhat characteristic taste.

Aronia Berries & Processed Food Products

The discovery of anti-oxidant rich Aronia chokeberries has thrilled aging masses and businesses alike. So much so

that the number of launches of new processed food products of Aronia have continued to rise for ten years in a row. In 2007, the number of such launches were 157, lead by Europe which saw 107 of them. More than half of these were for juices, a third for confectionery products and a lesser number for spoonable yogurt and cereal bars. The world just cannot have enough of this berry!

History of Aronia Berries

Ironically, for ages, the two varieties of red and black chokeberry have existed in North America without causing any stir or excitement in human society. Its astringent sour taste does not allow it to become a favorite of fruit lovers. It was usually cultivated more because of the sturdy nature of its shrub which had a reputation of being able to tolerate anything and the chokeberries in its raw form at least were devoured usually by birds and smaller animals without any serious competition from their human counterparts.

Nutritional Benefits as the Reason of Aronia Berries' Popularity

All this has almost dramatically changed since it came to light that the chokeberry fruit has one of the largest concentration of natural antioxidants that can prevent aging, degenerative diseases and cancers.

The chokeberry fruit has around 1480 mg of ANTHOCYANIN content and 660 mg of PROANTHOCYANIN content per 100 gm. A study by Wu et al demonstrated its Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity or

ORAC value, used to measure antioxidant strength, as one of the highest values ever recorded, of 16,100 micromoles of Trolox Eq. per 100 g (Wu et al. 2004). Anthocyanins have been shown by various studies like those conducted by Lala et al in 2006, as having anti-cancer properties. They can also help in heart diseases, peptic ulcer and eye inflammation.

The realization of such medicinal benefits have made Aronia or 'chokeberries'- so called because of the inedibility of the raw fruit because of its astringent sour taste - a source of one of the fastest growing naturaceutical products.

Recent Developments in Aronia Processing

One of the latest to join the fray is Kaden chemicals which launched powdered Aronia extract with 15% natural anthocyanins in November 2007. Among the two varieties of Aronia, red berries or Aronia Arbutifolia is sweeter and more palatable than the black variety named Aronia Melaocarpa. However, most current varieties available these days are actually hybrid between the two.

These berries are not sweet, but taste fine with a sweetener. It is traditionally used to prepare wine and fruit jam. More recently, with increased demand because of its oxidant properties, it is often used to add flavor to other juices.

References

1. Wu, X., Beecher, G. R., Holden, J. M., Haytowitz, D. B., Gebhardt, S. E., & Prior, R. L. (2006). Concentrations of anthocyanins in common foods in the United States and estimation of normal consumption. J Agric Food Chem. 54 (1): 4069-4075.

2. Lala, G., Malik, M., Zhao, C., He, J., Kwon, Y., Giusti, M. M., & Magnuson, B. A. (2006). Anthocyanin-rich extracts inhibit multiple biomarkers of colon cancer in rats. Nutr. Cancer 54 (1): 84-93.
 



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