The Haskap Berry

The haskap berry (botanical name Lonicera caerulea L.) is a small oval berry, often likened in shape to an elongated blueberry. The skin of the haskap is dark blue, with intense, vibrant purple flesh. It has very small, almost imperceptible seeds.

The juice has a high, natural fruit sugar content (measured as degree Brix or ºBx) and colours almost anything it combines with a dark burgundy hue. The taste of the haskap berry is uniquely delicious and has been described as a mixture of blueberry and raspberry.

Get to know the Haskap Berry in 60 seconds

Haskaps are an exciting new crop for Nova Scotia. The berries are high in bioactive compounds (such as the polyphenolic anthocyanins), vitamin C, and other antioxidants that have several health promoting benefits1. Haskaps have been used in folk medicine to reduce blood pressure2 and relieve gastrointestinal disorders3.

Common names for Lonicera caerulea L. include:

  • Haskap (derived from the Ainu word for “many fruits on branches”)4
  • Blue honeysuckle
  • Honeyberry
  • Sweet Berry Honeysuckle

References

  1. Rupasinghe HPV, Yu LJ, Bhullar KS and Bors B. (2012). Haskap (Lonicera caerulea): A new berry crop with high antioxidant capacity. Can. J. Plant Sci., 92: 1311–1317
  2. Anikina, EV, Syrchina AI, Vereshchagin AL, Larin MF and Semenov AA. (1988). Bitter iridoid glucoside from the fruit of Lonicera caerulea. Chem. Nat. Comp., 24: 512–513
  3. Lefol E. (2007). Haskap market development—the Japanese opportunity (pp. 1–53). Saskatoon: Edwards School of Business, University of Saskatchewan.
  4. Shimoyama Y (ed.). (2008). The hascup – An introduction. Hokkaido Government, IBURI Subprefectural Office, Department of Industrial Promotion, Agricultural Affairs Divison. Available on: http://www.iburi.pref.hokkaido.lg.jp/ss/num/hasukappu.htm (accessed on May 5, 2016)