3. Is Haskap a superfood?
Yes, because of… its nature!
What is so valuable in these berries?
For hundred years haskap berries have been in use in traditional medicine and as food. Recent scientific investigation fully confirmed health benefits of haskap berries and products from these berries.
What are the virtues of haskap berries?
- haskap shows anti-inflammatory activity on cellular level;
- haskap postpones aging and helps to cure retinae function disorders – supporting eye health was the first use of haskap;
- haskap can reduce tumor volume in some oncological diseases;
- haskap helps to lower blood pressure, improves the brain functions;
- haskap is low in calories but high in valuable nutrients, nutritional value – 53 kcal/100 g of FW;
- haskap possesses anti-diabetic effect – helps to normalize the level of glucose and lipids in blood;
- haskap for gums, digestive tract and urinary tract infections – shows antibacterial and antiadhesion activity – against some species from such a genera like Shigella, Micrococcus, Campylobacter, Escherichia, Enterococcus, Streptococcus, Staphylococcus or Bacillus;
- haskap berries – show positive effect against UVA and UVB radiation;
- haskap extracts inhibit melanogenesis (melanin synthesis) – can help to prevent melanoma development, haskap berries are extremely rich in antioxidants.
What are the virtues of haskap berries?
Haskap berries contain a lot of vitamin C
Haskap berries contain a lot of vitamin A
Phytochemicals are the organic metabolites of the plant which can positively influence human health.
Antioxidants, like anthocyanins and phenolic secondary metabolites are being recognized to be responsible for free radicals level control. Free radicals are responsible for some chronic diseases, the changes connected with aging and some cancers. There are many methods to measure the level of antioxidants in plant products, such as ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity), DPPH, TEAC and several others, they all refer to in vitro conditions. That’s why, not all scientists agree to confirm the direct correlation between in vitro results and in vivo observations.
Nevertheless, the ORAC value is frequently presented as the measure of plant products activity in terms of their antioxidating abilities.
TPC – The total phenolic content – the phenolic compounds are the contributors to the antioxidant activity of the plant products. TPC is being presented in milligrams of gallic acid equivalents (GAE).
TAC – The total anthocyanin content – presented as the content of cyanidin-3-glucoside equivalents in mg/100 g of FW.
The highest measured and published ORAC values of some chosen food products. Results are presented in µmol TE/100g of FW – TE is Trolox equivalent – Trolox – 6-hydroxy-2,5,7,8-tetramethylchroman-2-carboxylic acid.
4. Is haskap berry a good market commodity?
– Yes, it is!
Growth requirements and some features:
1. tolerant in terms of soil, pH – 4–8, light or heavy, mineral or organic, permeable, not salty;
2. fully frost resistant, wood survives – 46⁰C;
3. due to very early ripening season – June in the Middle Europe – avoids problems with berry sunburn, most of pests and diseases;
4. so far, haskap has no serious disease and pests problems, can be cultivated in ecological way or with very limited use of pesticides;
5. haskap requires abundance of water during growth season, it is a must;
6. requires cross pollination – berries are better formed, bigger and then contain more seeds and sugar. Early blooming season – March-April – solitary bees and bumble bees work better than honey bees. Low temperatures and bad weather are better tolerated by wild pollinators, nevertheless, during warm, windless weather in blooming time honey bees are the best;
7. simultaneously blooming cultivars should be planted in neighboring rows, it makes cross pollination more effective.
8. Late frost resistant, open flowers survive – 8-10⁰C.
People look for healthy food and they eagerly pay better price for health supporting food products. Quality certification of the berries should be implemented in the orchards, it will improve access to the market and can markedly influence on the price of haskap berries.
1. minimum 2 varieties should be planted (cross pollination), 4 matured plants in good garden conditions can give up to 30 kg of haskap;
2. haskap thrives in full sun and well ventilated place;
3. watering is essential in dryer months, especially during berry ripening;
4. can live and crop 25–35 years.
6. How haskap looks like?
Plant – strong bush, can reach maximum height up to 3 m and similar width. Branches are flexible to stiff. Commercially important varieties are smaller, mature plants can reach 200 cm of height and 200 cm of width. Leaves are deciduous, pubescent when young, then glabrous, elliptic, or broadly elliptic, usually acute, arranged opposite, can reach more 10 cm.
Flowers are hermaphroditic, creamy yellowish, inconspicuous, require crosspollination, with two joined ovaries, being pollinated by insects. Gathered in inflorescences on 1 year old stems, berries ripen at least after 70 days after pollination.
Fruit – berries – round shaped to oval, sometimes very elongated, weight can exceed 5 grams, length to app 5 cm, skin is dark purple to almost black, often with almost white, waxy bloom. Firmness from very good to at least acceptable. Fully ripened berries get soft and shrink (sugar concentration grows). The best dessert cultivars are firm, tasty, and big, should be picked by hand. So far, mechanical, gentle way of harvest is not available. However, there are a few promising solutions.