Friday, July 6, 2007

Chinese Miracle Food

There is a lot of talk about goji berries on the market today, which makes one wonder about what this so-called miracle fruit really is. The goji berries come from a vine-like plant that can sometimes reach 15-20 feet in height. This is commonly found in the Ningxia Province of China. Many people describe the goji berry plant as a mix between a grape vine, and a tomato creeper.

The berries when matured are collected by shaking the vines on specially made mats where they are dried up in the sun. It is very important that the human hand does not touch these berries when they are fresh because they will immediately get oxidized and turn black.

Goji Berrys are Known by Different Names in the International Market

The dried goji berrys are in high demand in the global market and hence they are also know by various names. Since they originate from China, there are often referred to as 'Chinese Wolfberries' or 'Oriental Wolfberries'. However, the correct scientific name is, Lyceum Barbarum. These berries are only used dried, and at that time they look like raisins but only very bright red in color. The fresh berries are never touched by hand since they get oxidized and turn black and thereby lose their invaluable properties.

Why are the Dried Goji Berrys in Demand?

There are many uses for these berries; the most common being it's anti-oxidant properties. According to ORAC (Oxidation Radical Absorbance Capacity) testing, the recommended number of units of antioxidants that a person should consume should be minimum 5000-7000 (calculated in ORAC units). In comparison, the dried goji berrys contain 22,000 units per gram which is just amazing.

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