Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Sea Buckthorn Berries - 'Hippophae rhamnoides' - fam: Elaeagnaceae
Hippophae is a genus of Sea Buckthorns, deciduous shrubs in the family Elaeagnaceae. The name sea buckthorn, may be hyphenated to avoid confusion with the buckthorns, Rhamnus, family Rhamnaceae, although Hippophae rhamnoides, the common sea buckthorn, is by far the most widespread of the species in the genus, with the ranges of its eight subspecies extending from the Atlantic coasts of Europe across to northwestern Mongolia and northwestern China. In western Europe, it is largely confined to sea coasts where salt spray off the sea prevents other larger plants from out-competing it, but in central Asia, it is more widespread in dry semi-desert sites where other plants cannot survive the dry conditions.
It is also referred to as Sandthorn, Sallowthorn, or Seaberry.
Sea buckthorn berries are edible and nutritious, though astringent, sour and oily, unpleasant to eat raw, unless 'bletted' (frosted to reduce the astringency) and/or mixed as a drink with sweeter substances such as apple or grape juice. Additionally, malolactic fermentation of sea buckthorn juice reduces sourness, thus in general enhances sensory properties. The mechanism behind this change is transformation of malic acid into lactic acid in microbial metabolism.
When the berries are pressed, the resulting sea buckthorn juice separates into three layers: on top is a thick, orange cream; in the middle, a layer containing sea buckthorn's characteristic high content of saturated and polyunsaturated fats; and the bottom layer is sediment and juice. Containing fat sources applicable for cosmetic purposes, the upper two layers can be processed for skin creams and liniments, whereas the bottom layer can be used for edible products such as syrup.
Besides juice, sea buckthorn fruit can be used to make pies, jams, lotions, teas, fruit wines, and liquors. The juice or pulp has other potential applications in foods, beverages, or cosmetics products. Fruit drinks were among the earliest sea buckthorn products developed in China. Sea buckthorn-based juice is popular in Germany and Scandinavian countries. It provides a nutritious beverage, rich in vitamin C and carotenoids.
The seed and pulp oils have nutritional properties that vary under different processing methods. Sea buckthorn oils are used as a source for ingredients in several commercially available cosmetic products and nutritional supplements.
REFERENCES: Wikipedia 1