Freeze-dried chokeberry powder is a kind of concentrate, which has approximately 10 times more content of vitamins and minerals than its fresh counterpart.
Aronia is a plant originating from areas of North America. Although it settled in Poland many years ago, it has only recently gained deserved popularity and is nowadays referred to as Polish superfoods.
Aronia fruits are small, dark blue balls with a bitter-sweet taste. They owe their colour to the presence of bioflavonoids, which have a number of beneficial properties for the body, among others they reduce oxidative stress, which is the basis of many diseases and ailments.
The compounds contained in the aronia fruits, such as rutin and anthocyanins, protect the blood vessels and the organ of sight from the negative effects of free radicals. They also lower LDL cholesterol and protect against atherosclerosis. Regular consumption of fruit helps maintain normal blood pressure, as well as enhances DNA protection against its mutations.
These fruits are also rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect the eyes from the negative effects of free radicals and can be used in the prevention of macular degeneration and glaucoma.
Chokeberry also contains chlorogenic acid – a powerful antioxidant, increasing the sensitivity of cells to insulin and showing the effect of slowing down the secretion of sugar in the blood – hence chokeberry is great as a supplement to the diet of diabetics. What’s more, this compound improves the body’s immunity, reduces the release of histamine responsible for allergic reactions, shows antibacterial activity and reduces the level of lipids in the blood.
Studies carried out so far show that compounds contained in chokeberry fruit may be helpful in the prevention of neurodegenerative and cancer diseases, including colorectal cancer, and applied topically protect the skin from the negative effects of UV radiation.
Lyophilization is the process of direct removal of water from a previously frozen product, while omitting the liquid state. While standard drying is carried out using a high temperature destroying a significant portion of the nutritional value of the product, the use of lyophilization helps preserve most of the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, etc. contained in the fresh product. Freeze-dried products also have a similar colour, shape and taste to the fresh product.
Currently, freeze drying is one of the best methods of preserving food that does not require the addition of any artificial ingredients. The finished product has only 1 to 2% of water, which makes it very light and ideally suited as a snack, for example on the go.
Freeze-dried fruit can be added to smoothies, oatmeal, drinks or functional dishes. The portion is from 1 to 2 teaspoons (5-10 g).