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Blackcurrant 

Blackcurrants are native to northern Europe and Asia, blackcurrant (sometimes spelled “black currant”) is a shrub that produces clusters of tart berries during the summer.

The berries are used in many foods and drinks. Because they're so tart, they're generally combined with other fruits, or made into jellies and jams. They're especially popular in the U.K. as a juice and soft drink flavoring.

Uses

Culinary uses

The fruit of blackcurrants can be eaten raw, but it has a strong, tart flavour. It can be made into jams and jellies which set readily because of the fruit's high content of pectin and acid. For culinary use, the fruit is usually cooked with sugar to produce a purée, which can then be passed through muslin to separate the juice. The purée can be used to make blackcurrant preserves and be included in cheesecakes, yogurt, ice cream, desserts, sorbets and many other sweet dishes. The exceptionally strong flavour can be moderated by combining it with other fruits, such as raspberries and strawberries in summer pudding, or apples in crumbles and pies. The juice can be used in syrups and cordials. Blackcurrants are a common ingredient of Rødgrød, a popular kissel-like dessert in North German and Danish cuisines.

Blackcurrants are also used in savoury cooking because their astringency creates added flavour in many sauces, meat and other dishes and they are included in some unusual combinations of foods. They can be added to tomato and mint to make a salad, used to accompany roast or grilled lamb, used to accompany seafood and shellfish, used as a dipping sauce at barbecues, blended with mayonnaise, used to invigorate bananas and other tropical fruits, combined with dark chocolate or added to mincemeat in traditional mince pies at Christmas.

Japan imports $3.6 million of New Zealand blackcurrants for uses as dietary supplements, snacks, functional food products and as quick-frozen produce for culinary production as jams, jellies or preserves.

Beverages

The juice forms the basis for various popular cordials, juice drinks, juices and smoothies. Typically blended with apple or other red fruits, it is also mixed with pomegranate and grape juice. Also used in alcoholic beverages, blackcurrant liqueur mixed with white wine is called Kir or Kir Royale when mixed with champagne. Macerated blackcurrants are also the primary ingredient in the apéritif crème de cassis.

The fruit is rich in vitamin C, various other nutrients, phytochemicals and antioxidants. Blackcurrants can be eaten raw but are usually cooked in a variety of sweet or savoury dishes. They are used to make jams, jellies and syrups and are grown commercially for the juice market. The fruit is also used in the preparation of alcoholic beverages and both fruit and foliage have uses in traditional medicine and the preparation of dyes.

Health benefits of Blackcurrant  :

The fruit has very high vitamin C content, good levels of potassium, phosphorus, iron, manganese and vitamin B5, and a broad range of other essential nutrients.Other phytochemicals in the fruit have been demonstrated in laboratory experiments with potential to inhibit inflammation mechanisms suspected to be at the origin of heart disease, cancer, microbial infections or neurological disorders like Alzheimer's disease.

Blackcurrant seed oil is also rich in many nutrients, especially vitamin E and several unsaturated fatty acids including alpha-linolenic acid and gamma-linolenic acid. There is some evidence that gamma-linolenic acid may boost the effectiveness of the immune system and that use of the oil can reduce total cholesterol and triglycerides while increasing beneficial high-density cholesterol.

In Europe the leaves have traditionally been used for arthritis, spasmodic cough, diarrhea, as a diuretic and for treating a sore throat. The berries were made into a drink thought to be beneficial for treatment of colds and flu, for other fevers, for diaphoresis and as a diuretic. In traditional Austrian medicine, Ribes nigrum fruits have been used internally for treatment of infections and disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, the locomotor system, the respiratory tract and the cardiovascular system.

Black currants have significantly high amounts of phenolic flavonoid phytochemicals called anthocyanins. Scientific studies have shown that consumption of blackcurrants have potential health effects against cancer, aging, inflammation, and neurological diseases.

Black currants have anti-oxidant highest value for fruits after chokeberries, elderberry, and cranberries. Red currants, however, possess comparatively less ORAC value at 3387 TE than the black variety.

These berries are an excellent source of antioxidant vitamin, vitamin-C.  100 g of fresh currants provide more than 300% of daily-recommended intake values of vitamin C.

Black currants are very good in vitamin A, and flavonoid anti-oxidants such as beta-carotene, zea-xanthin and cryptoxanthin levels.These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties. Vitamin A is also required for maintaining integrity of mucus membranes and skin, and essential for healthy eye-sight. 

Fresh blackcurrants are also rich in many essential vitamins such as pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) and thiamin (vitamin B-1). These vitamins are essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to replenish and required for metabolism.

They also contain good amounts of mineral iron. 100 g currant berries provide about 20% of daily recommended levels. Iron is an important co-factor for cytochrome oxidase guided cellular metabolism. It is also required for red blood cell production in the bone marrow.

Additionally, the berries are also a very good source of other important minerals like copper, calcium, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, and potassium, which are very essential for body metabolism.

Read More at Wikipedia.
Also see DukuEgg fruitfig.
Recipe using Blackcurrant see Here and Here.


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Jimmybrown01@gmail.com.Scotland2015-08-05 18:02 (2 years ago.)

i like blackcurrants