Although chokeberry fruits are small and inconspicuous, they have extremely rich nutritional properties. Read what distinguishes this plant and what are the advantages of chokeberries from EU organic farms over those from industrial production. This article will also tell you why you should include chokeberry in your diet and how many ways there are to eat these small, dark blue balls!
Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) is a perennial shrub, growing up to 3 meters high and with a crown diameter of 2.5 meters. The ripe fruits are spherical and gathered in clusters. Due to high anthocyanin content, they are dark blue, sometimes almost black.1
In Europe, chokeberry fruits ripen at the turn of August and September.2 The leader is a selected Polish variety, A. Melanocarpa Galicjanka, appreciated by many domestic organic farmers.3
Chokeberry fruits are not only tasty, but also full of vitamins and minerals. They contain vitamins: B, C, E, K, folic acid and bioelements such as zinc, magnesium, potassium, calcium and iron.4 Additionally, they contain fiber, carotenoids and fatty acids.
The chemical composition of fresh and dried chokeberries also includes anthocyanins, flavonoids and phenolic acids. All of these compounds show remarkable antioxidant (antioxidant) activity, and when compared to blueberry, apple, strawberry or cranberry fruits, they are nearly four times more powerful.5
You can include the delicious fruit in your dietin many different ways. Among organic EU products, you will find chokeberry juices (with the addition of other fruits, such as apples), preserves andfreeze-dried products.
For everyday use, just add fresh or dried chokeberry to oatmeal or smoothies, and use its dark color as a natural dye for jellies, creams and cakes. Slightly tart chokeberry fruit in a pear and apple sauce goes well with the taste of cheese and different kinds of meat.
You will need: 1 kg of apples, 1 kg of chokeberry, 1 kg of sugar, spices (cinnamon, cloves, cardamom or any other you like). Peel the apples, slice and boil in a small amount of water with spices. Blend or crush half of the chokeberries, add sugar and cook for about 5 minutes. Then add the rest of the chokeberries and cook again over low heat for5 minutes. Add apples and boil for a while, stirring constantly. You can put the jam into jars, cap them and set upside down to cool.
Fresh chokeberry fruits have an intense, tart taste. To get rid of it, simply freeze them for at least 48 hours. This simple procedure will make the chokeberry much tastier. Freezing only slightly affects the content of valuable nutrients.6
Poland has been the largest producer of chokeberries in the world for years.7 The annual harvest of fruitsis estimated at 40-50 thousand tons.8 The total cultivation area isabout 10 thousand hectares, and up to 23% of this area is covered by organic plantations.9
There is no doubt that Aronia melanocarpa isperfect for ecological cultivation. Its shrubs are resistant to low temperatures, have low soil requirements, as well as a shallow root system, which tolerates both drought and excessive humidity.10
Organic chokeberry plantations in the EU use only natural (from organic animal production) or organic (from plant production) fertilizers.11 Furthermore, certified farmers regularly perform soil analyses.12 They control weeds by mechanical methods, by planting cover crops and by natural mulching.13 All these treatments allow to obtain tasty fruits without using harmful chemicals.
Chokeberry fruits from certified EU areas have a huge advantage over industrially produced food. Organic farms obtain tasty fruit with maximum nutrient content and do not use chemical fertilizers or pesticides.14 Moreover, rational management of the food production process promotes environmental protection and raises public awareness.15So the next time you have a craving for chokeberry juice or preserves, choose those with the EU organic logo!
 M. Białek, J. Rutkowska, E.Hallmann, Aronia czarnoowocowa (Aronia melanocarpa) jako potencjalny składnik żywności funkcjonalnej, „Żywność. Nauka. Technologia. Jakość”, nr 6(85)/2012, p. 25
2 Ibid, p. 147
3 Ibid, p. 146
4 Ibid,p. 149
6 K. Wilczyński, M. Panasiewicz, K. Olesińska, K. Kałwa, Wybrane zagadnienia dotyczące mrożenia owoców w aspekcie zmian jakościowych surowca, „Inżynieria Przetwórstwa Spożywczego" nr 1/4-2018(25), p. 27
7 E. Rozpara, Metodyka produkcji owoców aronii metodą ekologiczną, Skierniewice 2016, p. 3
8 Broszura Krajowego Zrzeszenia Plantatorów Aronii ARONIA POLSKA, „Aronia.. Na zdrowie! Najkrótsza droga zkrzewu na stół”, Skierniewice 2020, p. 4
9 E. Rozpara, ibid.
10 A. Szopa, P.Kubica, H. Ekiert, ibid, p. 146
11 E. Rozpara, ibid, p. 6
12 Ibid, p. 7
13 Ibid, p. 28
14 Ibid, p. 4
15 D.Komorowska, Perspektywy rozwoju rolnictwa ekologicznego w Polsce, „Problemy rolnictwa światowego” nr 15/2006, p. 45