Wild cranberries symbolize the spirit of the winter holidays. Cranberry drink was on the table in every bigger and smaller party. My childhood memories still keep the special cranberries picking events and I can smell the wet moss and feel my long rubber boots up to half immersed in the cold swamp water, freezing hands and warming sunlight on my back. Picking of cranberries in the swamp was a special event for smaller and larger group of friends or relatives with some local swamp guide.
My godfather was the best guide in it, he always says: ''I am so tired when I visit the capital, but in swamp, I can run for hours.'' It is true, after long walk to swamp, we finally started to picking some fresh cranberries, but he always called us further: ''Come here, there are much more of them (bigger, more mature or some other, just him known, reason and everybody followed him like a sheep, because swamp should be respected and it was too dangerous to rest alone in a swamp, as ground is not very solid there. It was the well-established tradition in my family, but what is so important behind this simple red berry in a swamp moss?
These little berries are more powerful than anyone can believe. They are known as miracle health booster especially in cold and long wintertime in many native cultures at the northern hemisphere - Scandinavia, Baltic States, Russia, Poland, Northern China and North America and even in Greenland.
Cranberries were used for everything from cooking to dyes to brighten the colors of their blankets and rugs and it is in well known as folk remedies. Cranberry leaves in native America were even used as a tobacco substitute. Native Americans did not cultivate them, they gathered berries and used them in pemmican - ''Cranberry energy bars'', made from cranberries mixed with ground dried deer meat and fat tallow, and stored the mixture in animal skin pouches. The pemmican would last for months and could be eaten - long journeys as a reliable source of protein and fat. "The fat preserves it, as does the acidity in the fruit, which lowers the pH and helps resist bacteria," says food historian Ken Albala, of the University of the Pacific. Read more about it here.
In the 1820s cranberries were shipped to Europe from North America. Cranberries became popular for wild harvesting in the Nordic countries and Russia. In Scotland, the berries were originally wild-harvested, but with the loss of suitable habitat, the plants have become so scarce that this is no longer done.
By the mid-19th century, when the European settlers began formally cultivating the cranberry for commercial use, the Indians were gone. "Tribes were pretty well wiped out within a hundred years of contact in New England," says Mihesuah. "They had a heck of the time just surviving, and if they did manage to cultivate cranberries to any extent, it did not last long."
photo by A.Liepa. Traditional swamp in Latvia
Today still existing natural cranberry bogs in northern Europe have strictly protected nature reserves, and all activities in these bogs are very limited. In some of these reserves, the territory is completely restricted to the population. These little wonderland berries in the swamp are evergreen and more than hundreds years old. Frozen berries are preserved well in nature and could be eaten all the winter in nature.
Vaccinium oxycoccos or Oxycoccus palustris (common cranberry, northern cranberry or cranberry) is widespread throughout the cool temperate northern hemisphere, most common in northern Europe, northern Asia, and northern North America. It also called small cranberry, bog cranberry, swamp cranberry.
The plant can often be found growing on hummocks of Sphagnum mosses in swamps. Berries that receive sun turn a deep red when fully ripe, while those that do not fully mature are a pale pink or white color. This is usually in September through the first part of November. The cranberries have a refreshing sharp acidic flavor. There are three other cranberries species, we choose to use fresh wild cranberries from my homeland (Latvia) swamps. Do not mix them with cultivated cranberries (they have less acid taste and a little bit flour taste) or with completely unrelated genus Viburnum are sometimes called "highbush cranberries" (e.g. Viburnum trilobum), but they are not real cranberries.
Low pH value and high pectin content.
Cranberries have very acidic pH 2.3 - 2.5, like other pectin high fruits - blackcurrant, gooseberry, lemon and lime. You don't need to add much acid at all, and certainly, don't need to add extra pectin; as the fruits themselves offer the perfect conditions. You can store fresh cranberries in cold dark place in sterilized and closed jar or just immersed in clean water, you also can freeze the berries without losing their activity. Pectin in cranberries can explain its use in a diet for weight loss.
The Chemical Composition of Cranberries.
Cranberries are a fabulous low-calorie food up to 46 calories per cup. The phytochemicals - protein, fats, carbohydrates (glucose, fructose, sucrose, dietary cellulose in low concentration only 4%), some vitamin (vitamin C, vitamin B2, provitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K and PP), polyphenolic compounds - nitric oxide production inhibitor, organic acids (quinic, malic, high , and citric acid), these four organic acids helps to decrease bacterial levels in the bladder. Cranberries have high pectin level, glycosides, macro- and microelements in cranberries be responsible for its property of preventing many diseases and infections, including cardiovascular diseases, various cancers, and infections involving the urinary tract, dental health, and Helicobacter pylori-induced stomach ulcers and cancers.
Cranberries are known also used as "blood purifiers", used as the anticoagulant, as a laxative, for treating fever and stomach cramps, wound dressings. Studies have also shown cranberries to be effective in the treatment and prevention of kidney stones. The redder the berry the higher the antioxidants (especially anthocyanins) and bacterial inhibition properties. Cranberry has the ability also to protect the genitourinary system from infections. Many plants store chemicals in the form of inactive glycosides. These can be activated by enzyme hydrolysis, which causes the sugar part to be broken off, making the chemical available for use. Many such plant glycosides are used as a bioactive remedy.
In a cranberries, there is a lot of potassium (K), slightly less phosphorus (P) and calcium (Ca). Enough iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu) and molybdenum (Mo). In addition, it contains boron (B), cobalt (Co), tin (Sn), iodine (I), nickel (Ni), silver (Ag), chromium (Cr), titanium (Ti), zinc (Zn) and other microelements.
In Russia, cranberries are the first home remedy for angina, flu and colds, rheumatism, treatment of beriberi, frequent stress, chronic fatigue and headaches, insomnia, tuberculosis, atherosclerosis and diseases of the cardiovascular system, wounds, ulcers and burns on the skin, in the treatment of caries and periodontitis. In addition, cranberries prevent the formation of bad cholesterol in the blood. Regular use of cranberries will promote the treatment and prevention of genital-urinary infections, protect against infections of the urinary tract. Cranberries are useful for pregnant mothers, because it contains a large number of flavonoids, due to which the strength and elasticity of blood vessels increases and vitamin C are better absorbed, besides it is an excellent multivitamin agent, which is especially good at the beginning of pregnancy. Cranberry, thanks to the antioxidants contained in it, improves memory; Cranberries also have a beneficial property of calming the nerves. So you should close the Internet window and go buy a ''super berries of life'', mix it with honey, it is so delicious!
To extract bioactive ingredients in plasma water we have applied Upgrades proposal for food Mineral Crystal Particles (MCPs) in plasma water by Arvis Liepa.
See processing in following photos.
Cup of fresh wild cranberries will be enough for plasma water production.
Blend them well.
Cranberries blended in a HCl solution.
When NaHCO3 (baking soda) is added, the solution turns violet. Anthocyanin became visible, it is a water soluble vacuolar pigment that, depending on pH, may appear red, purple, or blue.
When NaOH solution was added, the solution turned dark brown and form jelly-like substance. The solution was rich with pectin.
After filtration, it's time for an electrolysis.
As always, small power is the best.
In filtration process, the solution slowly change its color from brown back to red and it contains all active ingredients are released and suspended in plasma water.
Pectin was separated by filtration and dried in fruit dryer at low temperature (50-60°C). Dried cranberry chips as valuable pectin source. Pectin in fruits can help clean the body from heavy metals. People use pectin for high cholesterol, high triglycerides, and to prevent colon cancer and prostate cancer.
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