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Aronia Berry Benefits – Audio

Bradley Bolling, Assistant Professor
Department of Food Science
UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
(608) 890-0212

Total Time – 3:01
0:15 – Aronia Project
0:30 – Berry Facts
1:03 – Research targets
1:55 – Health Claims
2:40 – Eating the berries
2:52 – Lead Out


Sevie Kenyon: Getting the most out of your fruits and vegetables. We’re visiting today with Bradley Bolling, Department of Food Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and I’m Sevie Kenyon. Bradley, give us an idea of what you are working on with your fruit project.

Bradley Bolling: We are working to better understand how aronia berry and the polyphenols and phytochemicals that are present in that berry can inhibit inflammation in a variety of chronic diseases.

Sevie Kenyon: And tell us a little bit about the berry?

Bradley Bolling: This is a berry that is very tart, very astringent, you may not like to eat it on its own, but it is popularly used as a food colorant or in blends with other juices.

Sevie Kenyon: Bradley, what is in the berry that might be good for us?

Bradley Bolling: Aronia berries are rich in antioxidant polyphenols, these are pigmented polyphenols and non-pigmented tannins that may activate cellular processes or inhibit cellular processes important to inflammation.

Sevie Kenyon: Bradley can you give us a little idea of what your research is targeting?

Bradley Bolling: Our research is targeting the cellular mechanisms by which autoimmune diseases develop and an important autoimmune disease that we’re interested in is inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis. We’re trying to understand how the aronia berry can change the function of those cells to become less pro-inflammatory.

Sevie Kenyon: Can you give us some examples of what your research is pointing toward?

Bradley Bolling: We think that the aronia berry polyphenols are, after being consumed, they travel through your gastrointestinal system, are metabolized by gut microbiota and these catabolites are very important to inhibiting that pro-inflammatory process that occurs in the gut in this disease.

Sevie Kenyon: Bradley there’s been a lot of claims about the benefits of aronia and other fruits can you talk to that for a minute?

Bradley Bolling: In the United States, we can’t market foods as drugs. So, we can’t say that foods are anti-inflammatory or going to cure a particular disease. We can say, however, that consumption of certain types of foods in healthy individuals can reduce the risk of getting that disease in the future, so an example of this would be increased consumption of fruits and vegetables may prevent some types of cancers. Fruits and vegetables may have a role in the development of these chronic diseases, but we reserve the ability to really cure a disease to the category of drugs.

Sevie Kenyon: Bradley, what would you tell people that are interested in eating these berries and finding these berries?

Bradley Bolling: Expect a very interesting flavor, tart, astringent, but don’t be afraid to try them in blends with other types of fruits or vegetables that may be more palatable.

Sevie Kenyon: We’ve been visiting with Bradley Bolling, Department of Food Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and I’m Sevie Kenyon.