Sea Buckthorn to join heart healthy juice club?
23/10/2006 - Scientists in India have reported a new extraction method for sea buckthorn berries giving a juice rich in vitamin C, polyphenols and flavonoids.
The research, published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture (Vol. 86, pp. 2345-2353) reports that using continuous high speed centrifugation (spinning) to separate the juice and the solid sludge the resulting juice retains more than 40 per cent of polyphenols, 50 per cent of flavonoids and 70 per cent of vitamin C present in the pulp of the red berries.
The new extraction method significantly improves both the yield and nutrients obtained from the fruit compared to current methods which reportedly give juices of poor quality.
The report could see the berries join an ever-increasing list of a number of antioxidant fruits, including pomegranate, guarana, mangosteen, noni berries, goji berries and blueberries, which are increasingly seen by food and beverage makers as up and coming ingredients.
Indeed, Leatherhead Foods predicts that sales of such heart health foods will rise nearly 60 per cent over the 2004-2009 period to reach nearly $5.7bn by 2009. Although it said in its recent Heart Benefit Foods report that, until now, juice drinks have tended to have a general health positioning due to their antioxidant content, there are signs that this may be about to change.
"The process reported, for fresh sea buckthorn berries grown at high altitudes in the Himalayas, constitutes an integrated approach to yield products with high efficiency and quality for nutraceutical applications," wrote lead author Ranjith Arimboor in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture (Vol. 86, pp. 2345-2353).
"Even though sea buckthorn berries from the Himalayas have not been utilised on a commercial scale, the potential appears to be high following the process reported here," said Arimboor.
Sea Buckthorn, already very popular in Tibet, Mongolia, China and Russia, is a rich source of antioxidants reported to inhibit the oxidative the modification of LDL ('bad') cholesterol, reported to be an important part of the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and cardiovascular disease.
The Indian researchers, from the Agroprocessing and Natural Products Division, Regional Research Laboratory (CSIR) and the Defense Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences, subjected fresh berries to a high-pressure dewatering process using a continuous screw press, which gave a liquid phase containing 80-90 per cent of pulp oil.
This liquid phase was then subjected to continuous high speed centrifugation (80 degrees Celsius) to separate the pulp oil, clear juice and sludge.
The researchers, led by Dr C Arumyghan, report that the pulp oil yield was about 2.75 per cent of the fresh berry weight, and said to be a rich source of tocopherols (vitamin E, 1409-1599 milligrams per kilogram of fresh berries), carotenoids (2450-2810 mg per kg), and sterols (4096-4403 mg per kg).
The juice fraction, said the researchers was clear and free from oil, and contained significant quantities of vitamin C (1683-1840 mg per kg), polyphenols (2392-2821 mg per kg) and flavonoids (340-401 mg per kg). The major flavonoids were found to be isorhamnetin (251-310 mg per kg), quercetin (77-81 mg per kg) and kaempherol (12-16 mg per kg).
Dr. Arumughan is confident that this technology had great potential, and said: "No previous report has shown efficiency matching ours".
Sara Stanner, a nutritionist at the British Heart Foundation, told NutraIngredients.com: "The antioxidants in sea buckthorn juice and pulp may protect the heart by reducing harmful chemicals in the blood.
"The pulp oil also contains unsaturated fatty acids and plant sterols, which could help to reduce blood cholesterol levels.
"In addition, there is evidence that sea buckthorn juice might help to protect 'bad' cholesterol from oxidation, a process which is involved in the development of coronary heart disease.
"The oil has also been shown to have a possible benefit in reducing the tendency of blood to clot but more research is needed to clarify whether adding it to foods can have any real impact on reducing risk of heart disease."
Indeed, sea buckthorn oil has also been reported to have a number of other health applications, including atopic eczema, other skin problems related to deficient regeneration, UV radiation stressed skin, mouth dryness, mouth ulcers, gastric ulcers, urinary tract inflammations, cervicitis, genital ulcers, sinus inflammation and eye dryness.
Dr. Arumughan revealed in a statement that two companies are showing an interest in the new process.
Sea buckthorn berries sure are pretty, but they're also sour
Oct. 18, 2006. 01:00 AM
There's a new berry on the Ontario scene, but growers are still trying to figure out what to do with it.
Sea buckthorn isn't exactly eater-friendly, but neither is the cranberry — and look how popular that is, says an optimistic Marlene Wynnyk of The Healing Arc. The company's research farm near Wingham, Ont., was the only orchard in the province growing sea buckthorn this summer. "This is certainly a viable plant for Ontario, for Canada," Wynnyk says. "We were just overwhelmed as to how prolific it was."
Sea buckthorn got its strange name because it grows near the sea and is spiked with thorns. Although it's popular overseas, it's going to be a hard sell here. The berries are so sour, they make you pucker your lips and exclaim out loud. Sugar — lots of it— helps, so the Arc has been experimenting with a tangy jelly and a gelatinous nectar (similar in texture to Asian aloe vera juice), as well as salsa and flavoured vinegar. Seeds and leftover pulp were baked in bread and biscuits. They believe it's worth the trouble because sea buckthorn is good for you. Each berry has twice the vitamin C of an orange, Wynnyk says.
None of these products is on the market yet.
A small Kitchener company, the Healing Arc (thehealing arc.com) makes its money selling nutraceuticals to alternative health care practitioners. In collaboration with the University of Guelph and the federally funded Agricultural Adaptation Council, it also does research on unusual crops that can be grown on marginal farmland. Sea buckthorn berries are valued at about $10 a pound. Wynnyk says the berry is also grown in a couple of places in the Atlantic provinces, including a vineyard in Newfoundland.
With its oval orange berries and long, thin, variegeated leaves, it's no wonder this lovely plant is known mainly in North America as an ornamental shrub. (The berries can also be yellow or red.) However, a paper written by Canadian government researchers notes that sea buckthorn is commonly used in parts of Europe, Russia and Asia. It's high in protein and has an oil content of 14 to 20 per cent. The oil is used in cosmetics and lotions for burns, eczema and wounds. The document says that in 1986, Chernobyl radiation victims were treated with sea buckthorn. Meanwhile, China has sea buckthorn sports drinks. The berry has also been used in juice, jams, jellies, marmalades, sauces and liqueurs.
"It makes wonderful dacquiris," Wynnyk adds.
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Big plans for a big shrub- Sea buckthorn is healthy, huge -- and may be headed for Ontario
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