Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Many Uses of Aronia Chokeberries by Matt Hazel

The chokeberries or Aronia plants are commonly used as attractive ornamental plants in the garden. They grow very well when they are planted under tall trees as they are naturally understory and woodland edge shrubs. They exhibit high tolerance level against drought, pollution, pest infestations and plant diseases. These plants are capable of self-fertilization, and thus, only one plant is required to produce a fruit.

The juice derived from the chokeberries is not sweet and stringent. However, it was found out to contain high amounts of vitamin C and antioxidants. The fruit or the berries are being used in making wine or jam after cooking. Aronia is also being widely used as colorant and flavoring agent for yogurts and other beverages.

The black chokeberry Aronia melanocarpa has gained much attention in the field of science and medicine because of its deep purple to almost black pigmentation that was due to the solid contents of phenolic phytochemicals, specifically the anthocyanins. The overall anthocyanin content of the black chokeberries was estimated to amount to 1480 mg per 100g of fresh berries, whike the proanthocyanin content was estimated to be 664 mg per 100g of fresh berries.

These values indicate that the black chokeberries have the highest amounts of these substances measured among plants to date. These pigments were produced by the plants in order to protect the pulp and seeds from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation. They do not only contribute to the astringent characteristics of the chokeberry but it also provides that peculiar antioxidant properties.