5 Things Manufacturers Should Know About Nerina Strawberries
In summertime, fresh fruit like strawberries take center stage. The more flavorful, the better. But consumers want more than flavor from their summer berries. They are more aware of food’s health-giving value than ever before, and they’re choosing the healthiest varieties they can find. Enter the antioxidant rich, delicious Nerina strawberry (Fragaria nerina).
This new variety of strawberry takes a natural powerhouse to the next level. It’s flavor-packed, intensely nutritious and it was cultivated naturally, without genetic modification. That makes it a great choice for food manufacturers looking for healthy whole ingredients.
Here are five reasons why product innovators should place their bet on the Nerina strawberry:
1. More antioxidants than any other strawberry. As a member of the red berry family, strawberries are already one of the top 10 superfoods for antioxidants. But Nerina strawberries were intentionally cultivated to provide a far greater level of antioxidants. They contain 18 times more anthocyanins, according to lab tests. Anthocyanins are a group of polyphenols, a compound that gives fruits their color: the richer and deeper the color, the more of these powerful compounds it contains. And, anthocyanins are also powerful antioxidants. They help protect cells and tissues from oxidative stress by acting to neutralize free oxygen radicals in the body, and are beneficial to the cardiovascular system as well. And a 2013 Gallop study on Nutrition Knowledge & Consumption by MSI revealed that 62% of adults were aware of polyphenols and 21% were making a strong effort to get more.
2. Even more beneficial for managing blood sugar levels. A number of studies show that strawberries may help manage blood sugar spikes. This effect is not only due to the high fiber content of the fruits, but also due to their high concentration of anthocyanins and tannins. These compounds have been shown to inhibit the sugar-digesting enzymes called alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase. This inhibition slows down the rate of uptake of glucose and may help avoid spikes in blood sugar levels. Nerinas have the highest level of anthocyanins and among the highest levels of tannins of any strawberry variety. That means they have the most potential as a strawberry nutrient to improve blood sugar management.
3. Taste and smell like real strawberries, because they are. Nerinas pack a deep berry taste that is rich without being over-sweet, like common market strawberries. And, they smell like the essence of summer. What gives Nerinas this double whammy are their higher acid content, which deepens the scent; and a compound called HDMF (4-hydroxy-2,5-dimethyl-3(2H)-furanone), which intensifies their flavor. That means whatever Nerina strawberries are added into will have that wonderful aroma and taste as well.
4. Strawberries in a more natural, healthier form. When the Italian red fruit processor, Iprona AG, embarked on cultivating a strawberry packed with both nutritional power and flavor, it looked to the original strawberry. Nerina strawberries trace back to the footsteps of these wild strawberries: smaller, darker, and slightly more acidic than those found in markets.
5. Supply integrity. From field to table, the Nerina strawberry has been produced and handled with the best practices. Its creator, Iprona, is a trusted company with a long history of developing and maintaining the nutritional value in traditional fruit varieties like elderberry, chokeberry and blackcurrants. The largest processor and supplier of black European elderberry worldwide, Iprona has decades of experience with the supply of standardized health ingredients. It follows Good Agricultural Practices with every product, including this new cultivar.
Whether for beverages or desserts, gummies, fruit leathers or teas, the Nerina strawberry packs a natural, welcome punch. It’s currently available as a water-soluble freeze-dried powder, easy to mix into smoothies, yogurt, ice-cream and more. For health-conscious consumers, it’s a great new way to get natural flavor and powerful health benefits.
Fun fact: A 2015 article in Scientific American offered some explanation as to why strawberries are so popular. According to the article which discussed the composition of food flavors, strawberries share flavors with 42 other foods. They even share flavors with totally unrelated foods like angelica, cloves, white wine, honey, gin and mussels.