Move over, Acai berries and mangosteen. There’s a less expensive, easier-to-eat antioxidant in town, and it’s a superfood that Native Americans have known about for generations: Aronia berries. Aronia who? Aronia berries! Also known as the Midwestern acai berry alternative or black chokecherries, these humble dark blueish-black berries are antioxidant powerhouses. Healthy, versatile, and locally grown- what could be better? And in the dead of winter when fresh berries are scarce, aronias satisfy the berry craving “berry’ well. Full Article
Abstract: Extracts, subfractions, isolated anthocyanins and isolated procyanidins B2, B5 and C1 from the berries and bark of Aronia melanocarpa were investigated for their antioxidant and enzyme inhibitory activities. Four different bioassays were used, namely scavenging of the diphenylpicrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical, inhibition of 15-lipoxygenase (15-LO), inhibition of xanthine oxidase (XO) and inhibition of α-glucosidase. Among the anthocyanins, cyanidin 3-arabinoside possessed the strongest and cyanidin 3-xyloside the weakest radical scavenging and enzyme inhibitory activity. These effects seem to be influenced by the sugar units linked to the anthocyanidin. Subfractions enriched in procyanidins were found to be potent α-glucosidase inhibitors; they possessed high radical scavenging properties, strong inhibitory activity towards 15-LO and moderate inhibitory activity towards XO. Trimeric procyanidin C1 showed higher activity in the biological assays compared to the dimeric procyanidins B2 and B5. This study suggests that different polyphenolic compounds of A. melanocarpa can have beneficial effects in reducing blood glucose levels due to inhibition of α-glucosidase and may have a potential to alleviate oxidative stress.
Bellbrook Berry Farm, formed in 2006, is the first commercial planting of aronia, for berry production, in Wisconsin history. Its website states as follows regarding Aronia’s health benefits: “Aronia Berries are extremely high in antioxidants. Aronia Berries also have the highest anthocyanin concentrations (pigments), and are very high in proanthocyanidins (tannins), in addition to a lot of other polyphenols . Aronia berries have been used in scientific research because of their extremely high levels of these phytonutrients. Following an initial review of the available clinical data we feel there is evidence to suggest that regular aronia berry consumption may: Full Article.”
Aronia (Aronia melanocarpa / Photinia melanocarpa), sometimes called black chokeberry, is a deciduous shrub native to eastern North America, used by landscapers primarily for its clusters of creamy white flowers in late spring, and colorful flame-colored autumn foliage contrasting with dark berries. The thick bushes grow to 6 to 8 feet in height, and are sometimes used as a windbreak in border plantings. Aronia requires a damp, acid soil with sufficient rain during the growing season. The pea-sized, violet-black berries are harvested in autumn. Berries have a strong, stable and natural color, with a dry and sour strong flavor. For those interested in a dual-purpose plant for edible landscaping, the recent introduction “Autumn Magic” from the University of British Columbia was selected for large fruit size, superior fall color and overall form.
Aronia was well known to natives and early settlers, but has not been commercially cultivated in the U.S. since the turn of the century. However, in Denmark, eastern Europe and Russia (especially Siberia) the strongly colored, pungently flavored fruit is quite popular for juice and even wine production. Breeding programs there have produced fruiting clones that are highly productive, and amazingly uniform in berry size and quality. For the best fruit production, clones that have been selected for high yield should be chosen, rather than those intended for landscaping. Plants from these breeding lines, for example “Nero” and “Viking,” are available from several specialist nurseries such as Raintree and One Green World. Full Article by Jacqueline King, WSU – Mount Vernon
ALTERNATIVE cultivate … Aronis (Aronia melanocarpa, Chokeberry)
It is a deciduous shrub without special needs and low-cost culture. Reaches 1-3 meters in height, with small white flowers and black round fruit. Depending on the area cultivated summer blooms and fruits in autumn. Production begins in the third year and gradually increases. The Aron grows rapidly in light soils with good drainage. Withstand shade but grows well in sun and is very sensitive to heat.
The cultivation of the plant may be linear with planting 1.20 m on the line and 2.50 meters between the lines. A total of 320 plants required per acre.
Its significance. The fruit contains vitamins Aronis: A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, C, E, K, P. The most characteristic Aronis is incomparably high content of polyphenols, vitamin vital p. The specific content of the plant in pectin helps to absorb and protect organisms from radiation. For this reason, countries in Eastern Europe and the former USSR, the fruit of Aronis used in nuclear power plant workers and cosmonauts before and after their space missions. Full Article
From Romania: Aronia fruit came increasingly to gain more interest among Romanians and especially among those who own farmland. They know that the estimated prices of fruit Aronia shrubs and why they are so high. Content rich in antioxidants is one of the benefits that this fruit has to offer.
“Different varieties of Aronia can grow in Romania as a fruit crop for personal use, for commercial purposes or simply as decorative landscape. Plant was acclimated successfully and sometimes occurs spontaneously in hilly areas. Romania is therefore a country that has favorable climatic conditions Aronia crop. larger productions can be obtained, along with them, profits above expectations. Full Article
by admin on February 20, 2013
Because many people find it difficult to handle the taste of the Aronia berry alone, there are several different products available to avoid eating it raw while still getting the benefits of the berry. Red Aronia berries are a bit sweeter than black and purple ones, but a good portion of individuals still prefer to consume the fruit in juices, jam, or tea rather than by itself. Many of these products use sweeteners to dull the astringent taste of the fruit and reduce the feeling of dry mouth.
One of the many products that provide Aronia berry benefits are gummy chews. These snacks often feature organic sweeteners to provide a taste that people prefer. Many of them are gluten, wheat, and dairy free, unlike the gummy candies that you find in most snack aisles. They are a great way to take advantage of the berry’s antioxidant properties after a long day at work or simply to start your morning the right way. The purple berry is favored for these snacks because it has even more powerful antioxidant properties with emphasis on neutralizing free radicals. Even better is that these snacks will appeal to children, who may not want to eat fruits regularly. Full Article
Aronia (aronia melanocarpa) is an indigenous shrub and – if we can believe what botanists say – a real pioneer plant. We started our initial research seven years ago. At that time there was only Russian and English literature on aronia available. There was absolutely nothing to be found in German on the Internet. So we set out to translate what was available and started working with aronia berries in a small fruit juice production plant in Saxony. Originally from the eastern regions of North America close to the US/Canadian border the aronia plant grew on all different types of soil in vast tracts of land. The native Indians knew the plant and praised it for its great healing effects. The famous Russian botanist and globetrotter Mitschurin discovered the aronia plant in America and took it home to Russia for the purpose of breeding. With the support of the Soviet regime under Lenin and Stalin he grew frost-resistant varieties, amongst others the aronia melanocarpa.