Category Archives: Currants (Ribes)

Nutrient content of black currants under different soil treatments

Svetlana M. Paunovi´c, Pavle Maˇskovi´2018. Primary metabolites, vitamins and mineras in berry and leaf extracts in black currants (Ribes nigrum) under different soil management systems. Comptes rendus de l’Acade´mie bulgare des Sciences (71) 2, 299- 308.

This article from Serbia found that in cultivated black currants, fructose was the most common sugar in both leaves and berries while sucrose was very low. In the leaves, the highest levels of fructose, glucose and sucrose occurred on bushes grown through a black plastic mulch when compared to a sawdust mulch and unmatched, fallow soils. The main vitamins in black currants are C, B3 and A. With vitamins, the highest levels in the berries were recorded on plants mulched with sawdust while vitamin A was highest in the black plastic mulch treatments. The highest values for primary metabolites, vitamins and minerals in berry and leaf extracts were achieved by currants grown under sawdust and black plastic mulch. This study showed that changes to how black currants are grown can have a significant effect on the nutritive value of both leaves and berries. They also worked with several cultivars and found significant differences in nutritive quality with cultivar. 18. Black currant

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Fruit Teas in Poland

Ingredients of popular fruit teas in Poland

Artur Adamczak, Anna Forycka, Tomasz M. Karpiński

Department of Botany, Breeding and Agricultural Technology of Medicinal Plants, Institute of Natural Fibres and Medicinal Plants, Kolejowa 2, 62-064 Plewiska, Poland(Adamczak and Forycka)) and Department of Genetics and Pharmaceutical Microbiology, Poznań University of Medical Sciences, Święcickiego 4, 60-781 Poznań, Poland (Karpiński)

The attached article from Poland shows the incredible diversity of fruit teas in Polish markets. Leaves, fruit, flowers, stems, petals, peels, roots, and juice concentrates  are used in a variety of teas that are popular because of their flavor, aroma and health benefits especially antioxidant content. The most popular fruit teas were raspberry, cranberry and rose hip, but the final tea sometimes contained more than 20 ingredients. Especially common in fruit teas were hibiscus flowers and apple. Apple and rose hip are often the top ingredients because they are cheap and easy to obtain from commercial sources. Even teas labeled raspberry could have hibiscus as the main ingredient. It certainly pays to do your homework and purchase from reputable sources because quality variation is huge. The list of ingredients is diverse and interesting!

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Healthy Northern Berries Improve Glucose Utilization

This study from Norway centered around glucose control in the liver. The researchers studied the pathways of glucose uptake and described the enzymes used in the final steps of carbohydrate digestion as alpha-amylase and alpha glucosidase. Any chemical that inhibits these enzymes will slow glucose uptake in the liver and be a benefit to anyone dealing with type 2 diabetes. They studies a lot of berries (bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), blackberry (Rubus fruticosus), black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa), black currants (Ribes nigrum),  bog whortleberry (Vaccinium uliginosum), cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus), Crowberry (Empetrum nigrum), Elderberry (Sambucus nigra), Lingonberry (Vaccinium vitas-idaea), raspberry (Rubus idaeus), red currant (Ribes rubric), rowan berries (mountain ash, Sorbus aucuparia), and sea buckthorn (Hippophae (Elaeagnus) rhamnoides). The phenolic compounds in all the berries inhibited response the enzymes that promote glucose uptake. Some berries had other chemicals that actually promoted glucose uptake: mountain ash and bilberry being the highest. The berries with the most powerful inhibitors were crowberry, cloudberry, bog whortleberry (bog blueberry), and lingonberry with crowberry being ranked number 1!

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Cornell Berry Diagnostics

The Cornell Cooperative Extensions Berry Diagnostic Tool is an excellent resource for anyone growing or interested in strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, currants, and gooseberries. This online tool allows anyone to select a berry crop and then from a variety of descriptions of plant growth issues, deformities, discolorations, damage, or other indicator that occurs on the whole plant, flower, fruit, or vegetative to continue to diagnose the issue. Lots of photographs and links to in depth articles are included about many diagnoses to really get to the “root” of the issue. Finally, recommendations for management of the issue can be selected after referring to the images and descriptions
Citation: Cornell Cooperative Extension. 2016. Cornell Fruit Berry Diagnostic Tool. Available online: Diagnosis. Accessed: 12 October 201

Black currant ban

Growing black currants were banned in the early 1900s in the US due to their status as an alternate host in white pine blister rust.  “The federal ban on growing currants was shifted to jurisdiction of individual states in 1966, and was lifted in New York State in 2003 through the efforts of horticulturist Greg Quinn”  (Wikipedia)  Due to the creation of resistant cultivars they have been released from the ban in certain states.  I wondered why black currants are not well known around the states, however are popular in areas of Europe.  This ban removed this berry from our grasp for many years!  Here is an article about its new status in NY as of 2003 and its growing popularity:   http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/2006/07/welcome-back-black-currants-forbidden-fruit-making-ny-comeback.

Lots of Berries at the Palmer State Fair

I don’t often get to visit the Palmer fair, but I enjoyed seeing all the fruit displays, everything from apples to oblipika (the sea buckthorn). And then there was the odd pink mountain ash located on the fair grounds. Might be Sorbus hupehbensis ‘Pink Pagoda’. Maybe.

The Most Expensive Jam in the World?

Do you have extra money to burn, how about some jam?   Jam