An obscure American berry that has been a longtime staple of Native American diets could become the new super fruit, food scientists say.
According to a new study in the Journal of Food Science
, the buffaloberry contains large amounts of cancer-fighting lycopene and a related acidic compound, methyl-lycopenoate, which are important antioxidants and nutrients beneficial for human health.
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The bright red fruit has a tart flavor, and both the sugar and acid content of the fruit make it desirable as a fresh or dried product. The buffaloberry has even drawn attention from several commercial wine producers.
Buffaloberry trees are members of the olive family and grow in Western North America on many Indian reservations.
The findings of the new study suggest that buffaloberries might be successfully grown as a new commercial crop.
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