DNC News

DNC NEWS: Red Raspberries on Sale   


Subject: King Soopers has Driscoll's Red Raspberries on SALE this week 5 for $5.00


What a pleasure to have reached raspberry season again! This morning's paper is advertising $1/box cartons of Driscoll's Raspberries for sale down at King Soopers. I wait for this day each year, fill a shopping cart with fresh berries and freeze them. Our regular readers will no doubt remember my passion for berries, for our newer readers I will write a quick review.


Raspberries contain a number of phytochemicals that are useful in the prevention and treatment of several diseases, most especially cancer and heart disease.


Much of this information is from Red-Raspberry.org the website of the Washington State Raspberry Grower's Association here. Here is a list of the major phytochemicals in raspberries we think play a role. Raspberries are sold in 6 ounce containers. That's about 168 grams per container.


Anthocyanins 20-65 mg/100g

Ellagic Acid 3.39 mg/g dry wt

ORAC Values 24 µmole TE/g

Salicylic Acid 5 mg/100 g

Quercitin 12 mg/100 g

Catechins 0.83 mg/100 g



Anthocyanins, which act as pigments to give berries their deep color, are a major component of the phenolic/flavonoid class. Researchers are link anthocyanin activity to improving vision, controlling diabetes, improving circulation, preventing cancer, and retarding the effects of aging, particularly loss of memory and motor skills. In the most recent research study published from Finland indicates that the anthocyanins in red raspberries help reduce the risk of heart disease.



Salicylic acid is found in red raspberries and is suspected of having the same protective effect against heart disease as aspirin. Aspirin is a closely related compound know to pharmacists as salicylic acid acetate. The therapeutic successes of small daily doses of aspirin to inhibit atherosclerosis suggest the possibility that salicylic acid consumed in foods may provide a similar benefit. A 100-gram serving (about 3 /4 cup) of red raspberries contains around 5 milligrams of salicylic acid. The recent research on aspirin preventing breast cancer, colon cancer and possibly pancreatic cancer was supposed to be the topic of today's letter until I saw this sale advertisement. You can buy aspirin any time you want, but raspberries aren't always on sale or as fresh tasting as they are this week.



Quercetin is a flavonol that works as an anti-carcinogen and an antioxidant. Almost all of out cancer patients are taking huge doses of quercetin, 1,000 to 3,000 mg/day. Quercetin has also reduces the release of histamine and is used against allergies and asthma. The quercetin content of red raspberries is 12 milligrams per 100 grams of juice, which seems low when compared to the therapeutic doses we prescribe. Extrapolating like this doesn't always work. Phytochemicals obtained directly from foods may work better; they can be better absorbed and arrive with similar chemicals that provide a synergistic effect.



Catechins are flavonols that support the antioxidant defense system. Catechins found in red raspberries may contribute to cancer prevention. The catechins content found in red raspberries is 0.83 milligrams per 100.



The major chemical of interest is the Ellagic Acid. This is the same chemical which we think makes pomegranates effective with cancer. Here is a link to a current list of ellagic acid references. Last count it had 120 studies listed:




Ellagic Acid is a phenolic compound that we consider a potent anti-carcinogenic/anti-mutagenic compound. It also has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. Ellagic acid itself is not thought to be naturally present in plants. Instead, polymers of gallic acid and hexahydroxydipenoyl (HHDP) are linked to glucose centers to form the class of compounds known as ellagitannins. When two gallic acid groups become linked side-by-side within a tannin molecule and HHDP group is formed.


Ellagic acid is the result when the HHDP group is cleaved from the tannin molecule and spontaneously rearranges. It is the ellagitannins that are present in red raspberries. Some articles in which ellagitannins are quantified refer to ellagic acid because quantitation of ellagitannins is done by breaking them down into ellagic acid subunits and quantifying the subunits.


The Meeker red raspberry is the best source of ellagic acid followed by Chilliwack and Willamette . The Meeker variety is specific to the Pacific Northwest ---grown primarily for commercial use in Washington State . The Chilliwack and Willamette varieties contain lesser variations of ellagic acid. Both of these varieties are grown in the Pacific Northwest and may be found in lesser volumes outside the United States .

Ellagic acid (micrograms/gram dry weight)

Variety Fruit Seeds Pulp Whole

Meeker 8.40 3.36 4.31

Chilliwack 7.78 2.58 3.39

Willamette 8.13 2.05 2.91

Average 8.10 2.66 3.54


The availability to the body of ellagic acid from dietary sources has only been confirmed with red raspberries. Other foods such as strawberries, pomegranates, and walnuts contain far lesser amounts ellagic acid yet the bioavailability has not been confirmed. (That statement is from the raspberry growers website; obviously they have ulterior motives to point this out.)


How does ellagic acid work?

Ellagic acid acts as a scavenger to "bind" cancer-causing chemicals, making them inactive. It inhibits the ability of other chemicals to cause mutations in bacteria. In addition, ellagic acid from red raspberries prevents binding of carcinogens to DNA, and reduces the incidence of cancer in cultured human cells exposed to carcinogens.


I've been looking at the following recipe for years waiting for the occasion to try it.

Maybe this is the week!


Chocolate Raspberry Torte


1 1/2 cups melted butter

Flour to dust pan

1 1/2 cups crushed hazelnuts or pecans

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup cream

1 pound dark or semisweet chocolate (chopped in fine pieces)

1/2 cup of 12 ounces frozen (thawed) raspberries*

7 eggs



remainder of 12 ounces frozen (thawed) raspberries*

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon lemon juice


Preheat oven to 350º F. Brush the inside of a 9-inch springform pan with a small amount of melted butter. Dust with flour. Tap out excess flour.

Grind up nuts with 1/4 cup of sugar until the mixture has a flourlike consistency.

In medium saucepan over low heat, stir together the remaining butter and cream. Add chocolate. Stir gently until it is melted smooth. Remove the pan from heat. Stir in the hazelnut mixture and 1/2 cup of red raspberries.

In a large bowl, beat egg yolks until thick and creamy. Add to chocolate mixture.

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar.

Gently fold egg whites into the chocolate mixture.

Pour batter into springform pan. Bake 60-70 minutes until a knife inserted comes out clean. Allow pan to cool on rack. Once cooled, remove the ring.

While cake is cooking, make the raspberry sauce. Puree remaining raspberries in a blender or food processor. Strain berries through a fine mesh sieve if desired. Discard seeds. (says the recipe, but the seeds are the best source of ellagic acid so leave them in and don't complain.)

Heat the puree in a small pan. Set over low heat. Stir in sugar and lemon juice. Cook just until sugar is completely dissolved. Serve sauce warm or refrigerate until ready to use. Divide sauce among eight plates. Top with a slice of torte. Garnish as desired.




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