Ripe blackcurrant fruit


An Information Resource from Peter Lapinskas

Table of Contents

Information Sources
  Premier information sources
  General information
    White pine blister rust
  Fruit juice
  Alcoholic Beverages
  Seed Oil
  Essential oils
  Herbal uses
  Other link sites


Business to Consumer
  Fruit juice
  Alcoholic drinks
  Seed oil products

Business to Business
  Agricultural supplies
  Fruit suppliers
  Juice suppliers
  Flavours, fragrances and colourings
  Seed and seed oil


The European blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum L.) is a deciduous perennial shrub, growing up to 2 metres in height which produces greenish white flowers and shiny black globular berries. It is grown in gardens for its fruit (for cooking or making jam) and there are ornamental strains, with variegated or cut-leafed foliage. Commercially, it is sometimes grown for the essential oil extracted from the flower buds, or for the leaves which can be used to make a herbal tea, but primarily for its fruits, which are rich in vitamin C. These can be used for the manufacture of jams and fruit juice, or as a food ingredient, but the main commercial use is for juice extraction, which is then used as the basis for alcoholic (e.g. crème de cassis) and non-alcoholic beverages. After the juice has been extracted, the fruit remnants ('pomace') may be used for the extraction of pigments, and the seeds contain an oil rich in important fatty acids, which are used in the healthfoods and cosmetics.

Information Sources
Premier information sources
ARS National Clonal Germplasm Repository (USA)
Genetic resources, including taxonomy, distribution, germplasm locations and a selection of printed literature references. Tables of world commercial production and selected cultivars.
Mark Reiger's Fruit Crops Pages (USA)
Sections on: taxonomy, cultivars, origin, history of cultivation, folklore, medicinal properties, non-food uses, production statistics, botanical description, general culture, contribution to diet, and food uses.

General information
Australian New Crops (Australia)
Comprehensive listing of scientific references since 1988.
Website offering a range of information on many aspects of blackcurrant growing and use.
Overview of the characteristics of the plant and its many uses.
The Blackcurrant Foundation (UK)
An association of UK growers promoting the use of blackcurrants. The site contains useful information on a wide range of topics.

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Guide (USA)
Botanical description of the American Black Currant (Ribes americanum).
Kurt Stüber's Electronic Library
Botanical painting by Carl Lindeman (1901-5).
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
Details of the American Blackcurrant (Ribes americanum)

'UKGardening' website
Planting and pruning blackcurrants.
Basingstoke and District Bee Keepers Association (UK)
Plants for bees.
California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc.
Growing instructions for currants in California, USA.
Royal Horticultural Society (UK)
Advice on vine weevil diagnosis and biological control.
The Tortoise Shell
Picture of magnesium deficiency symptoms in blackcurrant (item 46 in the list).
Washington State University (USA)
Garden production of currants (Washington State, USA).

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Blackcurrant Growing in New Zealand
A farmer's view.
Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority
Commercial growing instructions for currants in Ireland.
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Growing instructions for currants in Ontario, Canada.

HortNET (New Zealand)
Variety descriptions.
The Blackcurrant Foundation
Overview of the varieties currently in cultivation.

White pine blister rust
1999 US Conference Details
Ribes, Pines, and White Pine Blister Rust Conference, Corvallis, Oregon, September 8-10, 1999
Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet (USA)
White Pine Blister Rust on Currants and Gooseberries

4th - 7th International Rubus and Ribes Symposia (1986 - 1998)
Most papers are available as abstracts or full-text versions.
8th International Rubus and Ribes Symposium (2001)
Abstracts of papers available.
Acta Horticulturae (International Society for Horticultural Science)
Ribes breeding and research in the UK.
Genetic Linkage Map Project
SCRI project for the use of marker-assisted breeding.
Symposium on breeding and machine harvesting of Rubus and Ribes (1976)
Full text of most contributions available in pdf format.
University of Abertay Dundee (Scotland)
Developing conservation methods for blackcurrant genotypes.

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Just The Fruit Ltd.
Information on the antioxidant properties of blackcurrant fruit.
Scottish Crop Research Institute
Phytochemicals and health.

Fruit juice
Codex Alimentarius
International standard for concentrated blackcurrant juice preserved exclusively by physical means (pdf file).
Codex Alimentarius
International standard for blackcurrant juice preserved exclusively by physical means (pdf file).
Givaudin SA
Data sheet for 2-Methyl Tetrahydrothiophen-3-One, a flavour compound from blackcurrant juice.
LBS Gießen/Fulda
Research on the effect of extraction techniques on the antioxidant properties of blackcurrant juice. [.pdf file]

Alcoholic Beverages
RecipeZaar (USA)
Recipe for home-made Creme de Cassis.
The Webtender
Recipes for 27 cocktails using Creme de Cassis.
The Winemaking Page
Two recipes for home-made blackcurrant wine.

Nutrition Science News (Dec 2001)
Overview of the health benefits of anthocyanins.

Seed Oil

For information on seed oil, see

Essential oils
ISHS Acta Horticulturae 60
Analysis of essential oils from black currant buds of several cultivars and hybrids of various origins were carried out by gas-liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. The composition of the major mono and sesquiterpene hydrocarbons present enabled the determination of a phenotypic formula for the cultivar or hybrid. The genic control was partly elucidated and some genes postulated. (Full text available as pdf file.)

Soapnuts Library
The INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) names for a range of natural oils.

Sheila's Herb Patch
Recipe for blackcurrant and lemon verbena tisane.
The Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients
Article suggesting that fruit teas, such as blackcurrant, may damage your teeth.

Herbal uses
Alternative Medicine Review
Original research article describing how blackcurrant anthocyanins can help relieve eye fatigue from using computer monitors. Full text available by searching on 'Black Currant VDT' in
"A Modern Herbal" - Uses of plant parts as medicinal herbs. Includes recipes for use in jelly, wine and jam.
ESCOP Monographs
Fascicule 4 contains information on the herbal uses of blackcurrant leaf.
Permitted Additives to Tobacco Products
List of approved additives to tobacco in the UK. (Note: It's a long, long list so it takes a while to load.)

Hurst's Berry Farm
Various blackcurrant recipes.
Recipe Land
Blackcurrant muffins
Recipe Land
Fruit jellies and sweets.
The Recipe Source
Blackcurrant tea brownies.

Other link sites
Open Directory Project
Around 30 links to sites featuring the currant family (Ribes).

HorTips (UK)
Uk - government funded initiative to bring research and technology to the horticulture industry of England and Wales to improve growers' profitability.
Scottish Crops Research Institute (UK)
UK centre for government-funded blackcurrant research.

European Scientific Co-operative on Phytotherapy (ESCOP)
ESCOP was founded in June 1989 as an umbrella organisation representing national phytotherapy associations across Europe, especially in their discussions with European medicines regulators. Its aim is to advance the scientific status of phytomedicines and to assist with the harmonisation of their regulatory status at the European level

British Soft Drinks Association
Trade association for the UK soft drinks industry.
The New Zealand Berryfruit Group (NZ)
Marketing agency in Asia for the NZ Blackcurrant Growers Co-Operative

Business to Consumer
Fruit juice
Britvic (UK)
Manufacturer of a number of ranges of fruit drinks and cordials
GoodnessDirect (UK)
Mail order fruit juices and yoghurts.
Pixley Berries (UK)
Specialist suppliers of fruit and non-frozen juice to UK and European packers. Also market a range of cordials to consumers.
Ribena (UK)
Major blackcurrant juice manufacturer
The Currant Company (USA)
Major US producer of blackcurrant beverages, Site includes information on health benefits, recipes and cultivation.

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Alcoholic drinks
DeKuyper (Netherlands)
Manufacture a wide range of fruit liqueurs, including Creme de Cassis.
Lejay-Lagoute (France)
Manufacturers of Creme de Cassis since 1841.

Chivers (Eire)
Produce a wide range of jams and jellies.
Duerr's (UK)
Supply a range of traditional fruit jams. Fun site, but long download.
Wilkin and Sons Ltd (UK)
Manufacture a range of high quality jams and preserves in Essex.

Blue Moon Tea (US)
Twinings blackcurrant fruit and leaf infusion in teabags.
Flora (Canada)
Flora produce a range of medicinal teas containing blackcurrant leaves, including FluGrip, Rheumadix and Stomach Tea.
Mark T. Wendell Tea Company (USA)
Offers at least four tea products containing blackcurrant. Use the on-site search facility to find details.

Seed oil products

For information on seed oil, see www.blackcurrantoil. info.

Business to Business
Agricultural supplies
Welsh Fruit Stocks (UK)
Nursery supplying plants.

Fruit suppliers
Gattinera Farm (Italy)
Organic farm enterprise supplying juice, pulp and bud macerate.
Nanjing Intong Foods International (China)
Supplier of organic frozen blackcurrant berries.
Newberry International Produce Ltd. (UK)
Frozen fruit importers and wholesalers
Pixley Berries (UK)
Specialist suppliers of fruit and non-frozen juice to UK and European packers. Also market a range of cordials to consumers.
Sicoly (France)
Suppliers of fresh and frozen fruit.
The Blackcurrant Foundation (UK)
An association of UK growers promoting the use of blackcurrants. The site contains useful information on a wide range of topics.
Vetrija (Lithuania)
Suppliers of a wide range of frozen fruit and fungi, for local and export markets.

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Juice suppliers
Gattinera Farm (Italy)
Organic farm enterprise supplying juice, pulp and bud macerate.
Juice World (UK)
Trade suppliers of a range of fruit juices and concentrates.
Pixley Berries (UK)
Specialist suppliers of fruit and non-frozen juice to UK and European packers. Also market a range of cordials to consumers.

Flavours, fragrances and colourings
Offers a wide range of infused and carrier oils.
Flavour Master (UK)
Supply a range of colours and fruit juice compounds.
Gattinera Farm (Italy)
Organic farm enterprise supplying juice, pulp and bud macerate.
Givaudin SA (Swiss)
Major world supplier of flavours and fragrances.
The Good Scents Company (USA)
Suppliers of 'currant bud absolute black'.

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Seed and seed oil

For information on seed and seed oil, see the blackcurrant oil page.

Natur-Vit (Poland)
Supplier of fruit and herbal teas to the trade. The site has English, German, Polish and Russian language versions.

If you would like your site listed on this page, please email me with the address (URL) and I will consider it for inclusion. There is no charge for this service.

Peter Lapinskas

© Peter Lapinskas 2001-2012 Contact me Last updated: 5 December 2012