Blackcurrants (Ribes nigrum): A Review on Chemistry, Processing, and Health Benefits.
J Food Sci. 2019 Sep ;84(9):2387-2401. Epub 2019 Aug 27. PMID: 31454085
Regina E Cortez
Blackcurrants (BC; Ribes nigrum) are relatively new to the U.S. market; however, they are well known and popular in Europe and Asia. The use of BC has been trending worldwide, particularly in the United States. We believe that demand for BC will grow as consumers become aware of the several potential health benefits these berries offer. The objectives of this review were to provide an up-to-date summary of information on BC based on articles published within the last decade; furthermore, to provide the food industry insights into possibilities for the utilization of BC. The chemistry, processing methods, and health benefits have been highlighted in addition to how the environment and variety impact the chemical constituents of BC. A search for journal publications on BC was conducted, which included keywords such as chemical characterization, health benefits, processing, technologies, anthocyanins (ANC), and proanthocyanidins. This review provides up-to-date information available on the subject. In conclusion, BC and their products have industrial uses from which extractions can be made to produce natural pigments to be used as food additives. BC contain flavonoids, specifically ANC, which provide the fruits with their purple color. BC are a rich source of phytochemicals with potent antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Also, BC have the potential to improve overall human health particularly with diseases associated with inflammation and regulation of blood glucose.