Black raspberries, like many of the vibrantly colored berries, are fruits that are packed with nutrition. Berries are treats that are especially delicious when fresh and ripe. Berries are not only delicious; they are excellent sources on antioxidants, which have many health benefits. Researchers are studying the nutritional benefits of berries.
Berries are rich sources of antioxidants, which are beneficial for good health. Medical researchers have been studying berries, particularly blackberries, for their ability to limit the severity or onset of degenerative diseases for decades. Berries apparently have a benefit in fighting diseases, including cancer.
Many berries have strong antioxidant ability, because of their high levels of anthocyanins, which are the chemicals that give plants their rich colors. Anthocyanins seem to work by inhibiting the compounds that weaken the body’s immune system. They also destroy free radicals that attack cells. Free radicals can cause cancer, heart disease and aging. Berries also contain other compounds that benefit health.
Popular berries shown to have antioxidant powers include black berries, blueberries, elderberries, grapes, plums and strawberries.
The health benefits of antioxidant rich produces, such as black raspberries, has increased consumer interest for fruit that is fresh and locally grown.
Recent research, presented in HortScience, was conducted to learn whether antioxidant levels in black raspberries were influenced by where the berries were grown. Research was led by Mustafe Ozgen of the Gaziosmanpa University Department of Horticulture, in Tokat Turkey.
Researcher studied 19 samples of black raspberries that were harvested from eight different sites. The berries were frozen within 24 hours of being harvested, on the farms. The berries were sent to the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development center and stored until being analyzed.
Researchers found that differences in the ripeness of the fruit at the time of harvest may affect the phytonutrient levels of the berry. To a lesser extent, there were also variations due to soil temperatures.
This study about the phytonutrient content of fruits may be important to futures studies.
The study contained recommendation for farmers who grow black raspberries and for marketers.
Ozgen remarked that producers of black raspberry products who which to optimize the antioxidant levels of the fruit should consider the variations from one harvest site to the next. They should also consider how the berries and handled and marketed.
The research team is continuing to explore effects of growing conditions, ripening, handling and other environmental factors in producing black raspberries.
HortScience: Antioxidants in Midwestern black raspberries influenced by production site. Press release dated February 26, 2009, EurekAlert.
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