AS you may have noticed, there’s an obvious New Zealand component to the CurraNZ brand - and there's good reason why.
New Zealand blackcurrants are, put simply, the best in the world, which is why we insist on only using these berries in CurraNZ. Here, we explain why:
Mother nature's secret to creating a perfect berry
As we reach mid-summer in New Zealand, the exceptionally strong ultra-violet sunlight and long daylight hours are bringing our berries to perfect ripeness and quality for the annual harvest.
The powerful sunlight is an exceptional environmental factor creates the most nutrient-dense, nutrient and anthocyanin-rich berry on the planet.
Sunshine on a supernova scale
If you’ve ever visited the Southern Hemisphere, you’ll know the sun is stronger than in many other parts of the world – ten minutes without sunscreen in summer and you’ll fry to a crisp.
This is because there’s less ozone to block the ultra-violet rays that cause sunburn.
With NZ’s summer UV burning strength almost twice* that of the UK, the secret to our blackcurrants lies in their clever physiological adaptation to the searingly strong Kiwi summer sun.
Colour warriors that protect the plants
It's a research-based fact that Kiwi berries have surprisingly higher concentrations of plant pigments called anthocyanins than any other. These natural compounds protect the berries and act as ‘sunscreen’ in response to the strong ultra-violet light.
We call them our 'colour warriors'. These dark pigments are stimulated by extremes of temperature, altitude and ultraviolet sunlight and shield plants against everything the environment throws at them. The darker the colour, the higher the anthocycanin concentrations - as a result, our blockbuster berries have the best suntans in the world.
Compared to blackcurrants grown in Britain, New Zealand-grown berries contain 1.5 more anthocyanins.
Add to that, the cold winters (absolutely crucial for blackcurrants), abundant water and perfect temperatures provide perfect conditions to grow our berries in the pristine, vast expanses of the Canterbury plains.
For all its ‘smallness’, New Zealand is famous for many things and our blackcurrants deserve similar hero status as nutritional heavyweights.
*The sun’s burning strength is measured by the UV index. The highest possible UV index is 20, usually achieved in equatorial regions, and any reading higher than ten is considered extreme.
The UV index rarely reaches eight in the UK, but frequently hits 14 in New Zealand.