Currant

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Scientific name: Rubus Idaeus

Family: Caprifoliaceae

Common name: Currant

General Description

The currant of Ribes genus is small tufted vivacious fruitful thornless shrub that can reach a height from 1.5 to 1.80 m. It grows easily, it is hardy and thrives in cool climates and in all types of soil except for the very wet. It can be planted even in infertile soils, provided of course the existence of an irrigation system. The ideal pH value is 6 to 6.9. The plant can grow at temperatures down to -30 degrees but since it has early flowering is very sensitive to spring frosts. It can be watered either by aerial or drip irrigation method.

Cultivation Techniques

The currant crop promises a good income, but the fruits are very sensitive. Planting takes place in spring with plants 30-45 cm in height, at distances from 1.5 – 3 meters on the line and 3 meters between the rows (133 plants per acre). This distance is increased in case of mechanical harvesting. Before planting the suitable fertilization should be applied. Although currant is a plant that can withstand prolonged dryness, in commercial varieties irrigation is necessary especially during the first year of cultivation and then while it grows. The production life of the plant is 12 – 13 years, starting by the second year. The trading price of the fruit is determined by its color, size, hardness, pH value etc. It is cultivated mainly in Northern and Central Europe, Britain, France and Poland.

Harvest

Harvesting is made during the summer period. The criterion of the harvesting is the color of the fruit that depends from the variety : greenish, yellow, reddish or black (variety nigra) pitted and fluff.

Harvest production

The average production is 500 to 1,000 kilos per acre. Production increases in the fourth year after planting and remains stable for about six years.

Blackcurrant

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The blackcurrant is a high source of vitamin C ( up to 182mg per 100g of fruit ) and less of vitamins B, P, E, provitamin A, potassium and iron . Besides vitamins, the fruit is particularly rich in fibers, containing more than 5.5 g . per 100 g.

Blackcurrant Health Benefits

Relieves the symptoms of pharyngitis and chronic cough.

It has positive effects against cancer, aging, inflammations and neurological diseases.

Helps the body develop immunity against infections.

Removes free radicals from the human body.

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Redcurrant

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The redcurrant bears fruits on shoots of the current and the previous year. The fruit is tasty and has high production.

Redcurrant Health Benefits

Fights rheumatic diseases.

Boosts the immunity system.

The beverage of the leaves accelerates the elimination of toxins and regulates of renal function.

It is used against diarrhea, hepatic dysfunction and physical and mental exhaustion.

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Currant the Elixir of Youth…

The currant is known for its many nutritional and medical uses. It has very high nutritional value and a lot of health benefits. It is rich in fibers, minerals and antioxidants, which are effective in weight loss and decelerates the aging.

People who consume on a daily basis foods rich in fibers usually avoid the excesses during the meal and they don’t feel sudden hunger, as result not to consume sweets and fatty snacks during the day.

Currants are rich in polyphenols, herbal substances known for their antioxidant properties , as they have the ability to capture free radicals that damage body tissues . The consumption of the fruit prevents the formation of toxic substances in the body, causing gene mutations, leading to cancer.

According to a scientific study, published in the journal «Science», the fiber is of great importance for good bowel function and creates feeling of satiety in the stomach. The fruits of currants are known for their therapeutic value, since they have diuretic properties and give infusions favoring diabetics and renal patients ( glykozoeidon and neomyrtilinis ). Additionally, syrups from boiled fruits soften cough cold and treat sniffle almost immediately. A preliminary study from New Zealand suggests that a substance contained in blackcurrants may be useful in allergic asthma reducing lung inflammation and facilitating patients’ breath.

Global Production

Europe monopolizes the global production of currant. The main country which produces currants is Russia with an annual production of 150,000 tons (produced mostly in small family farms). Britain is the country with the highest production in Europe. The systematic cultivation of currant began in Britain during the Second World War, when the sources of vitamin C started to reduced and residents had seeking for foods rich in nutrients. In Poland, currant crops quadrupled in 20 years from 4,700 hectares in 1961 to 18,000 hectares in 1982, increasing production from 20,000 tons to 59,600 respectively. France is the third biggest producer in Europe, most of the production is exported (mainly in Asian countries), while a significant proportion absorbed in the local market, particularly in the production of liqueur Creme de Cassis, which is widely used in the country. The exports of these countries increase by leaps and bounds in recent years , as more and more studies confirm the high nutritional value of the fruit, expanding its use and in other industries like cosmetics industry (essential oils , creams ), pharmaceutical industry etc. This is a particularly effective cultivation due to the high price of the product. Currants have very pleasant slightly sour sweet taste and are consumed as fresh fruit or can be used for the production of pies, jams, juices, even wine. This fruit can be made jelly rich in pectin and its conciseness of vitamin C is almost equal with vitamin C of oranges.