Investigating Aronia Berry Pomace Qualities to Utilize as Food Ingredient and Reduce Aronia Berry Wasteaarensmeier@gmail.com
Aronia is a berry native to the United States, particularly well adapted to Iowa. Aronia berries have five times the amount of antioxidants of cranberries and blueberries, and aronia pomace (pulp) has been shown to actually have a greater antioxidant concentration than the aronia berries themselves or the juice, with up to 19.5 g/kg of anthocyanins (Mayer-Miebach, Adamiuk, & Behsnilian, 2012). Commonly and unfortunately referred to as the chokeberry, aronia has the potential for product development as a functional nutraceutical fruit crop despite low current consumer acceptance. This investigation into the utilization of aronia berry pomace resulted in the development of an application, specifically in muffins, to increase consumer acceptance and remove a current waste product. While edible as fresh fruit, aronia produce tastier products after processing due to its acidity and strong tannin flavor. This flavor acts as a challenge in recipe development and consumer use of the berry. With premature molding, weak flavor, and soft texture challenges, further research into aronia pulp water activity, inclusions, and structure-providers, including starches, was conducted. The resulting recipe will be shared with the various aronia associations, including the Midwest Aronia Association and the National Aronia Council to be shared with aronia farmers.