Aronia berry extract launched by Kaden Biochemicals
is an outstanding and economical alternative to other antioxidants
on the market.
The firm said yesterday that its aronia berry is "extremely rich" in antioxidants and has higher concentrations of this phytochemical than any other red or blue berry. With one of the highest free radical scavenging scores, aronia berry could become the new blueberry. Also known as black chokeberry, aronia berries have an ORAC value of more than 7,300 micromoles per gram, according to Kaden. The United States Department of Agricultures says the ORAC values for one granny smith apple is 5,381 and a one cup serving of blueberry would have a value of 13,427. The department's data does not include an entry for aronia. This makes them one of the most powerful berries on the market and should the launch take off, the berry could become one of the latest hot superfruits for food companies to dive into. The aronia plant, which is native to eastern North America and commonly known as black chokeberry, produces violet-black berries. Aronia also contains high amounts of proanthocyanidins, which have been documented in the past as helping to inhibit the growth of human lung, colon and leukaemia cells in culture, without affecting healthy cells. Antioxidants have the ability to neutralise free radicals that can damage the body's cells. Free radicals and can cause oxidative stress by building up in the body. Oxidative stress is thought to contribute to the ageing process and several diseases. An antioxidant's ability to fight free radicals is measured in terms of Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC). Indeed in the last few years superfruits have been taking the industry by storm. Blueberry is currently one of the fastest growing fruits in the UK. According to market analyst AC Neilsen, sales of blueberries have rocketed by £55 million (€81 million) in two years, from £40 million (€59 million) in May 2005 to around £95 million (€140 million) in the same month of this year. On the other hand the UK blackcurrant industry is valued at £10m (c €14.6m). Karin Stoffels, from Kaden product management, said the aronia extract will be available globally and will contain a minimum of 15 per cent anthocyanins. However, Stoffels said data on market values for aronia in Europe and projected sales returns for the nutraceutical were "not available." The extract will be available in powder form. Kaden Biochemicals is a wholly owned subsidiary of Symrise.