Kiwi berry is the size of a large gooseberry and has a rather familiar-sounding name. It is a cousin of the kiwi fruit, from which it is very different. It looks like a kiwi fruit but has smooth skin, so it can be eaten without peeling, whole, with its antioxidant-rich skin.
"Kiwi berry is increasingly being grown in Poland, on a growing area that already makes us one of the largest producers in the world. More and more growers are seeing the success of the pioneers. This year, Polish fruit is available not only at Lidl, Biedronka, Kaufland, Stokrotka, Carrefour or Netto but also in many smaller chain stores and neighbourhood shops," says Professor Piotr Latocha with satisfaction.
In Poland we have a good climate for berry growing. We have chokeberries, black and red currants, wildly popular blueberries, blackberries and raspberries, strawberries, the aforementioned gooseberries. In Poland, mini kiwi fruit is gaining importance in commercial cultivation thanks to the commitment of growers. We are pioneers here, just as we are with the honeyberry, of which we are already the largest producer in the world.
Kiwi berry is a completely natural product, created without human intervention. Its homeland is Asia, where the plants climb trees and scrub. It has only recently appeared on sale in Poland, New Zealand, Chiang, the United States and Western European countries.
In Poland, kiwi berry is grown in various regions. The dominant ones are the grójecko-warecki region and Greater Poland. The varieties grown are Weiki, Geneva, Bingo. The last one was bred at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences.
Why is this fruit worth noticing and trying? Firstly, because it is very tasty and secondly because it is extremely valuable. It has more than 20 health-promoting ingredients that are great for strengthening us during the fall and making us immune to the cold.
"Kiwi berry helps naturally boost immunity during the fall season. Regular consumption of these fruits results in strengthening the immune system. This is a vitamin bomb that provides immunity," adds Professor Piotr Latocha.
The anti-cancer effects of kiwi berry have been proven. It is one of the richest sources of vitamin C. Among popularly consumed fruits, it is the richest source of lutein, which strongly supports our eyesight. Also, the richest source of B8, essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system.
Phenols are compounds that reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. The phenolic content in kiwi berry is about 14 times higher than in citrus. Most of them show strong antioxidant and free radical destroying activity, which is important in the cleansing and regeneration processes of the body. Adding to that the minerals. There's as much potassium in a mini kiwi as there is in a banana. And all this in such a tiny fruit.
"They are best for eating as a snack and in fruit salads. Kiwi berry needs to be eaten soft and chilled. The fruit is very aromatic and has a sweet, intense flavour. They are spherical or elongated in shape, green or red. These are varietal traits," says Czeslaw Kawalec, a kiwi berry grower.
Kiwi berries are also great for making smoothies, jams, cakes and desserts. They can be dried and used to make compotes, wines and liqueurs.
"The first fruits we picked; I gave away to promote them. Today, these fruits can already be found in many stores. According to the research conducted by Kantar, every ninth Pole has tasted or eats kiwi berry. We, the growers, are very happy about this. We live in times when we all wish each other proper immunity," concludes Czesław Kawalec.
Source: Poland Daily 24, PAP MediaRoom