AMES, Iowa — Iowa State University Extension and Outreach food safety specialists need help in acquiring samples of aronia berry jam and jelly for an upcoming ISU Extension and Outreach research project. Researchers are collecting jams and jellies for their project this summer through July 1, 2016. Their goal is help the FDA establish a standard of identity for aronia berry jams and jellies.

Aronia is a woody perennial shrub in the family Rosacea and is native to the eastern United States. This hardy Zone 3 plant can be found in wet woods and swamps. The name Aronia, better known as black chokeberry, is now considered to be an intergeneric hybrid.

Currently, aronia berries are not among the fruits approved for making jams or jellies under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Code of Federal Regulations Title 21 Part 150 Section 150.160, and cannot be sold to any market without validation that the recipe meets the standard of identity for fruit preserves, jams or jellies. The ISU Extension and Outreach research team wants to collect samples with the goal to provide the FDA with guidance related to the aronia berry being added to the approved fruit list.

To participate in the study, three items are needed:

  • Two to three separate batches of aronia berry jam or jelly in jars;
  • The recipe for how it was made (this information will not be shared);
  • One pound of fresh or frozen aronia berries used for the batch of preserves (along with the date and location of the harvest).

The three required items along with personal contact information (name, address, phone number and email) should be sent be to: Lester Wilson, Iowa State University, 2312 Food Science Building, Ames, IA 50011.

Samples may be submitted up to July 1, 2016. Participants will receive a $30 cost and shipping stipend (a reimbursement form will be sent upon receipt of the three items); and the product analysis results (if the samples meet the standard of identity for the FDA’s approved fruit list).

For more information, contact Iowa State University Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition Professor Lester Wilson at lawilson@iastate.edu or 515-294-3889.

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