Aronia Fruit • Production & Marketing
Aronia Fruit • Production & Marketing
Aronia berries, or chokeberries, are small, dark fruits that grow on shrubs of the Rosaceae family. They’re native to North America but grown in other parts of the world, including across Europe. Traditionally, they were used as a cold remedy by Native Americans .
The berries have a strong mouth-drying effect, so they’re mainly used to make juices, purées, jams, jellies, syrups, teas, and wines. However, they’re also available fresh, frozen, dried, and in powder form. Aronia berries are small fruits that leave a dry feeling in your mouth. They’re added to many foods and beverages but also available as a supplement. Aronia berries are low in calories but pack a nutritional punch, as they’re high in fiber, vitamin C, and manganese. Plus, they’re an excellent source of beneficial antioxidants. These compounds help protect your cells from potentially harmful molecules called free radicals. The fruits are particularly high in anthocyanins, which give the berries their dark blue to black color.
Aronia is a genus of deciduous shrubs, the chokeberries, in the family Rosaceae native to eastern North America and most commonly found in wet woods and swamps. The genus is usually considered to contain two[ or three species, one of which is naturalized in Europe. A fourth form that has long been cultivated under the name Aronia is now considered to be an intergeneric hybrid, Sorbaronia mitschurinii.
Chokeberries are cultivated as ornamental plants and as food products. The sour berries, or aronia berries, can be eaten raw off the bush, but are more frequently processed. They can be found in wine, jam, syrup, juice, soft spreads, tea, salsa, chili starters, extracts, beer, ice cream, gummies and tinctures. The name “chokeberry” comes from the astringency of the fruits, which create the sensation of making one’s mouth pucker.
Chokeberries are often mistakenly called chokecherries, the common name for Prunus virginiana. Further adding to the ambiguity, a variety of Prunus virginiana is melanocarpa, and readily confused with black chokeberry because it is commonly referred to as “black chokeberry” or “aronia”. Aronia berries and chokecherries both contain polyphenolic compounds, such as anthocyanins, yet the two plants are distantly related within the family Rosaceae.
Aronia berries possess higher levels of the antioxidant anthocyanin than any known fruit (USDA Nutrient Database). Anthocyanins are known to have properties that reduce the risk of diseases such as type two diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.
Native Fruit Association: http://nativefruit.org
The Native Fruit Association (NFA) was formed to promote and share knowledge about native fruits of the Midwest that have commercial possibilities. The group has received grants from Iowa Department of Land Stewardship to create demonstration plots and to create informative videos and a website.
NFA has partnered with these organizations to develop a website with a series of professionally produced videos to promote the cultivation and consumption of three native Iowa Fruits: American Persimmon Fruit, Pawpaw Fruit, and Aronia Fruit::
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach • https://www.extension.iastate.edu
Levi’s Indigenous Fruit Enterprises (“LIFE”) • http://aronialife.com
Red Fern Farm • http://www.redfernfarm.com
Werner Elmker Audio-Visual Studio • http://elmker.com
For each of the three fruits, three videos have been developed:
• Short introduction to introduce consumers to the fruit and to get them excited about trying it.
• Video aimed at potential growers, showing planting and cultivation techniques, site selection, production cost estimates, and production profit projections.
• Video showing how to harvest, handle, and prepare the fruit into delicious juices, sauces, jams, pies, smoothies, and ice cream.
Each video is linked to more detailed written information on the NFA website, including several recipes for each fruit, lists of producers and their contact information, and step-by-step instructions for planting and cultivation for each fruit crop.
NFA wants to introduce both consumers and potential growers to these three little-known native Iowa fruits that are both delicious and nutritious. Producers will see how these fruits can be profitably grown as specialty crops that are virtually free of disease and pest problems. They can be grown in a system of continuous living cover, protection soil and water by reducing soil erosion to levels comparable to that of natural prairie and forest.
Playlist with all nine videos:
All nine videos are produced by:
Werner Elmker Audio-Visual Studio
Website – http://elmker.com
Facebook – http://facebook.com/elmker
YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/wernerelmker
Video Duration: 00:09:28
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