CORNELIAN CHERRY: AN IMPORTANT LOCAL RESOURCE AND PROMISING HEALTH PROMOTING FRUIT PLANT OF THE BLACK SEA AREA
Cornelian cherry, a minor wild fruit tree in Western Europe, represents a massively exploited natural resource in the Black sea region. For this reason cornelian cherry has been targeted in the EU program BaSeFood (Sustainable exploitation of bioactive components from the Black Sea Area traditional foods) in which uses, composition and traditional foods of local crops are being investigated and compared, in a cross-country perspective. Documentation is being carried on local populations, growing systems, exploitation and commercialisation, local knowledge about uses and perception of health promoting properties, and recipes. Ukraine, Russia, Georgia and Italy, as W-European example, are the main focus of this contribution. Selection and breeding have been carried out in several countries. Old plantations and wild stands represent important resources for local communities, that generally do not have the financial or technical resources to transfer their traditional knowledge into products acceptable according to standards of marketing and safety. The fruits are sold on local markets and roadsides, fresh, dried, or processed. Firms use the dried fruits for producing herbal remedies or extracts. A wide range of traditional products are manufactured at home level: compotes, preserves with sugar, without cooking, concentrated preserves without sugar (lekvar), juice and mashed pulp thickenings (the Caucasian fruit leather, Georgian thklapi, with equivalent in southern Russia), pickles in vinegar, sauces and other. The use of cornelian cherry is associated with the popular perception of health promoting properties: disinfectant, anti-diarrhoea, anti-inflammatory, vessel-protectant, especially against haemorrhoids. Dried fruits have been used as vitamin C supply for seamen. In Italy, the exploitation of cornelian cherry occurs at much smaller scale; traditional recipes are still applied in Trentino, Emilia Romagna and Marche regions. Cornelian cherries are used by local manufacturers of jam, as well. The analysis of fruit composition indicates cornelian cherry as a promising underutilised species with high content of bioactive compounds.
D'Antuono, L.F., Kolesnov, A., Fedosova, K., Jorjadze, M., Boyko, N., Mudryk, M. and Bignami, C. 2014. CORNELIAN CHERRY: AN IMPORTANT LOCAL RESOURCE AND PROMISING HEALTH PROMOTING FRUIT PLANT OF THE BLACK SEA AREA. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 1017:299-307
bioactive substances, Black Sea area countries, cornel, Cornus mas, health promotion, traditional foods