The exotic Ceylon gooseberry fruit is an attractive purple berry that is produced in the southwest tropics of Brazil and is often used in jams and drinks and also sold as a fresh fruit. The authors of a recent study in the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), discovered that gooseberry skin and pulp contained higher antioxidant activity than other berries such as blueberries and cranberries. Gooseberries contains high levels of phytochemicals, which have been reported in several studies to prevent oxidative stress that can cause cancer and heart disease. Gooseberry skin could potentially be a source of natural colorants and antioxidants for use in food manufacturing.
The fruit grows on small trees about 15-18 feet tall, primarily in Sri Lanka and India. However it is also cultivated in South Africa. The fruit is primarily harvested for making juice. The berries are orange but turn to a deep purple as they ripen. The fruit contains a high concentration of pectin, which makes it . Some refer to the fruit as tropical cranberries.
As with many dark colored berries the fruit is rich in antioxidants. These are similar benefits that are found by eating blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, and acai. The anti-oxidant characteristics have been helpful in fight conditions such as heart disease and hypertension.
These berries can be a great addition to smoothies or salads. The pulp from the berry has been used for jams and jellies. Few people can tolerate to eat the fruit raw due to its bitter taste. Allowing the fruit to ripen allows sugar to develop, cutting the bitter taste. Many compare the tartness to cranberries.
The researchers from the department of food science, food engineering school, Campinas State University in Brazil were the first to study the nutritional composition and antioxidant capacity of the gooseberry fruit.