FOR GROWERS CONSUMERS
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Varietal Information

In Canada, Ontario red tart cherries are the world-renowned Montmorency variety, the best cherries for pies, sauces, tarts, jams and desserts. In July, at the height of their availability, Ontario red tart cherries are pitted, chilled and packed to order daily in 5 kg (11 lb) pails with 10% sugar added. The cherries are also available with no sugar added (ask your supplier for details).

Ontario black sweet cherries are available in 4.5 kg (10 lb) pails. Their availability mirrors that of the red tart cherry season and when merchandised together, this “cherrific” duo ring in sweet sales! How can consumers tell them apart? Simply by their colour coded packaging; black sweet cherry pails are sealed with a black lid and Ontario red tart cherry pails are sealed with a red lid. Additionally, each pail is labelled according to variety.

Health Benefits

Tart cherries are available year round in dried, frozen and juice varieties. An excellent source of beta carotene (vitamin A) – 19 times more than blueberries and strawberries, rich in anti-oxidants, potent phytonutrients and melatonin, cherries are quite possibly one of the most nutritious fruits you can eat. Their distinctive red colour is a product of powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins which work to reduce inflammation, prevent cardiovascular disease and certain cancers, reduce the risk of diabetes and insulin resistance syndrome and aid in the treatment and possible prevention of memory loss.

A Michigan State University study suggests that Montmorency tart cherries may inhibit pain and inflammation. The study compared the level and activity of anthocyanins found in a variety of fruits and berries. Anthocyanins can block cyclooxygenzse [COX], which carry messages throughout the body and signal pain and inflammation, and act as antioxidants to destroy free radicals. The yield of pure anthocyanins in 100 grams of tart cherries was the highest of the fruits tested and demonstrated COX-blocking activity comparable to ibuprofen at ten-times concentration.

Nutrition Per 125 mL/75 g Ontario chilled and pitted cherries:

125 mL/75 g serving Ontario chilled and pitted cherries 10% Sugar Added
Calories........................................................................................................ 63 Cal
Protein......................................................................................................... 0.7 g
Fat............................................................................................................... 0.2 g
Carbohydrates............................................................................................. 15.7 g
Dietary Fibre................................................................................................ 0.8 g

A 125 mL/75 g serving of Ontario chilled and pitted cherries (10% sugar added) is a source of vitamin A (contains 9% of Recommended Daily Intake (RDI), Vitamin C (12% RDI) and is sodium-free (contains 2 mg sodium and 117 mg potassium).