Raspberry, bramble fruit of the genus Rubus (family Rosaceae). Raspberries are an economically significant crop throughout much of northern Europe, as well as in the United States and Canada, and are thought to have evolved in eastern Asia. Raspberry fruits contain iron, vitamin C, and antioxidants and are usually eaten fresh, often with cream or ice cream, as a dessert fruit. Jams and jellies are also popular, and the fruit is commonly used as a pastry filling and as a flavoring for certain liqueurs.
Raspberries are perennial plants with canes that live two years each. The canes are either armed with prickles or smooth, and many only produce fruit in their second year. Often reaching more than 1.8 meters (6 feet), the canes bear compound leaves with three or more toothed leaflets, depending on the species or cultivar. The leaf undersides are characteristically white to gray in color and often hairy. The white to pink flowers have five petals and produce juicy red, purple, or black (rarely orange, amber, or pale yellow) fruit. The core of the delicate fruit remains on the plant when picked, unlike that of the blackberry. Though they are commonly called “berries,” the fruit is technically an aggregate of drupelets (small drupes), each of which contains a single seed.
Most commercial red raspberries are cultivars or hybrids of Rubus idaeus and R. strigosus. Two North American species of black raspberry (R. occidentalis and R. leucodermis) are also grown commercially in some areas, though production is limited. Raspberry plants are resistant to disease and pests but must be staked or trellised to control their wild growth. Red varieties are usually propagated by suckers (adventitious shoots) from the roots of the parent plant, though leaf or root cuttings are also used for rapid increase of new varieties. Black and purple varieties have arched canes and are propagated by tip layers, the tips of the shoots being buried about 50 mm (2 inches) deep in late summer and the rooted tips being dug in early spring.
The United States is the world’s third-largest producer of raspberries (FAOSTAT, 2013). Raspberries are mostly grown as red (Rubus idaeus) and black (Rubus occidentalis) varieties. However, there are also purple varieties (a cross between red and black raspberries) and yellow varieties (a mutation of red or black raspberries) (Penn State – Extension, 2014).
Production occurs across much of the country, although most of it is concentrated in California, Oregon and Washington. California leads the nation in both black and red raspberry production (NASS, 2015).
Once picked, fresh raspberries do not have a very long shelf life. For this reason, selling them locally can add value. There are many ways in which this can be achieved. A lot of farms utilize a U-pick system or sell directly outside their farm using a farm stand. Many restaurants are eager to use local and organic produce, which could be another option for the fresh market sale of raspberries. One could also sell at nearby certified farmers’ markets.
Both red and black raspberries are used tremendously towards processed goods (juices, preserves, frozen items, dessert wines, oils, lotions, etc.). One way to get added value to your processed raspberries is to be selective about which raspberries you process. Fall-bearing varieties can produce twice each year, once in the fall, usually producing a larger crop, and once in the summer. Depending on the market price for fresh and processed raspberries, one crop can be sold to the fresh market, while the other can be processed. Another way to add value when processing would be to use fruits that are not deemed aesthetic enough for the fresh market (Penn State – Extension, 2014).
The leading raspberry producing states are Washington, Oregon, and California, with a combined acreage of more than 15,000 acres. Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio are like one another in acreage and production (each state has between 400 and 600 acres). Canada is a major producer of red raspberries, with most of the production located in British Columbia and Ontario. Red raspberries also are widely produced in northern Europe and the Southern Hemisphere.
Various kinds of raspberries can be cultivated from hardiness zones 3 to 9. Raspberries are traditionally planted in the winter as dormant canes, although planting of tender, plug plants produced by tissue culture has become much more common. A specialized production system called “long cane production” involves growing canes for a year in a northern climate such as Scotland or Oregon or Washington, where the chilling requirement for proper bud break is attained or attained earlier than the ultimate place of planting.
The fruit is harvested when it comes off the receptacle easily and has turned a deep color (red, black, purple, or golden yellow, depending on the species and cultivar). This is when the fruits are ripest and sweetest.
High tunnel bramble production offers the opportunity to bridge gaps in availability during late fall and late spring. Furthermore, high tunnels allow less hardy floricane-fruiting raspberries to overwinter in climates where they would not otherwise survive. In the tunnel plants are established at close spacing usually prior to tunnel construction.
Raspberries are an important commercial fruit crop, widely grown in all temperate regions of the world. Many of the most important modern commercial red raspberry cultivars derive from hybrids between R. idaeus and R. strigosus. Some botanists consider the Eurasian and American red raspberries to belong to a single, circumboreal species, Rubus idaeus, with the European plants then classified as either R. idaeus subsp. idaeus or R. idaeus var. idaeus, and the native North American red raspberries classified as either R. idaeus subsp. strigosus, or R. idaeus var. strigosus. Recent breeding has resulted in cultivars that are thornless and more strongly upright, not needing staking.
The black raspberry, Rubus occidentalis, is also cultivated, providing both fresh and frozen fruit, as well as jams, preserves, and other products, all with that species’ distinctive flavor.
Raw raspberries are 86% water, 12% carbohydrates, and have about 1% each of protein and fat. In a 100-gram amount, raspberries supply 53 calories and 6.5 grams of dietary fiber. The aggregate fruit structure contributes to raspberry’s nutritional value, as it increases the proportion of dietary fiber, which is among the highest known in whole foods, up to 6% fiber per total weight. Raspberries are a rich source (20% or more of the Daily Value, DV) of vitamin C (32% DV), manganese (32% DV) and dietary fiber (26% DV), but otherwise have low content of micronutrients. Raspberries are a low-glycemic index food, with total sugar content of only 4% and no starch. Raspberries contain phytochemicals, such as anthocyanin pigments, ellagic acid, ellagitannins, quercetin, gallic acid, cyanidins, pelargonidins, catechins, kaempferol and salicylic acid. Yellow raspberries and others with pale-colored fruits are lower in anthocyanin content. Both yellow and red raspberries contain carotenoids, mostly lutein esters, but these are masked by anthocyanins in red raspberries.
Raspberry compounds are under preliminary research for their potential to affect human health. Raspberry leaves can be used fresh or dried in herbal teas, providing an astringent flavor. In herbal and traditional medicine, raspberry leaves are used for some remedies, although there is no scientifically valid evidence to support their medicinal use.
Raspberry juice is a liquid created from raspberries that is often either used as a part of a mixed drink, added in with other liquids such as orange juice, or consumed by itself. The juice is known for containing a large amount of vitamin C as well as biological iron, which means it is sometimes drunk when an individual feels feverish. Soft drinks that incorporate raspberry juice notably include Bouvrage, a product made from Scottish raspberries that the husband-and-wife team Anne Thomson and John Gallagher created. Launched in 1998 at that year’s Royal Highland Show, that particular drink includes sparkling water and is designed to be somewhat sweet yet having a fruit content in contrast to competing products.
Raspberry juice can also be used to make smoothies. Other berries, such as blueberries, are commonly added either in whole, crushed, or juiced form. Other examples of its use include as a part of cocktails, being a part of mixed alcoholic drinks served in bars and restaurants, and as a key ingredient in making the raspberry jelly desserts.
In terms of background, raspberries are an important commercial fruit crop not just in heavily cultivated, temperate areas but around the world. The top ten countries in terms of production include Mexico, Poland, Russia, and the United States.
A healthy and balanced diet should include plenty of fresh fruit, either whole or juiced. The nutrients in fruits help to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease and may protect against some types of cancer, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Drinking raspberry juice concentrate increases your fruit intake and contributes to the general benefits of a fruit-rich diet. While it should be consumed in moderation, raspberry juice concentrate offers health benefits due to its vitamin and mineral contents.
Organic raspberry juice concentrate packs a lot of nutrition into a small space. It provides potassium, essential to heart function, and proven to lower blood pressure. The omega-3 fatty acids in raspberries can help prevent stroke and heart disease. They also contain a mineral called manganese, which is necessary for healthy bones and skin and helps regulate blood sugar.
Raspberry juice concentrate provides a rich source of beneficial vitamin C, or ascorbic acid. Getting enough vitamin C promotes proper healing of wounds and burns, helps your body metabolize cholesterol and aids in hormone production. Vitamin C also maintains tissue integrity — it helps you make collagen, a tough and fibrous protein that acts like glue to hold your tissues in place. A cup of organic raspberry juice concentrate provides approximately 72 milligrams of vitamin C. This makes up 96 percent of the recommended daily ascorbic acid intake for women or 80 percent for men, according to the NYU Langone Medical Center.
Consume raspberry juice concentrate as a source of manganese, an essential mineral. Each cup of juice contains approximately 2.1 milligrams of manganese — 91 percent of the recommended daily manganese intake for men, and an entire day’s worth of manganese for women, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. Manganese protects your body from damaging free radicals, helps you get energy from the foods you eat and aids in wound healing and bone development.
USDA NOP certified organic raspberry juice NFC provides a source of vitamin K, a nutrient important to healthy blood and bones. Vitamin K promotes bone development, helping your body make the proteins it needs to deposit new bone tissue. It also activates proteins needed to form blood clots, a process you need to stop bleeding after an injury. Drink a cup of NFC raspberry juice to consume approximately 22 micrograms of vitamin K — 24 and 18 percent of the recommended daily vitamin K intake for women and men, respectively, according to NYU Langone Medical Center.