The initial Prunus variety arose in central Asia. It is thought that P.fruticosa commonly called ground cherry is the parent of both P.cerasus and P.avium. One of these less expressed is cornelian cherry but still not an interesting fruit. Sweet taste, fruit density and stability are the other properties that urge buyer acceptance of Prunus. The cherry fruit has useful dietary characteristics and unique taste. 

By Tahreem Arshad, Athar Mahmood, Muhammad Anjum Zia, Maria Naqve 

History of cherry

The cultivation area of sweet cherry is between the Caspian and black sea in Asia Minor. Truthfully, it is considered that English colonist lead cherry before 1630. Sweet cherries brought by Spanish missionaries to California, and other diversities are carried out by fur pioneer merchants as well.

Firstly cherry was grown in Greece, and then it was sent by Roman General Lucullus from Cerasunt to Rome on black sea. Cherry plant can grow as tree or bush and its height reach up to 10m, is indigenous to Brazil and is well-adapted to subtropical and tropical areas of South America in a commercial scale, the highest production rate of cherry which is approximately 1700 tons annually in the state of Pernambuco (Brazil). The conventional storage of short life span of cherry is 7-14 days because it is biodegradable fruit.

Nutritional status

Cherry is abundant in extra nutritional constituents like vitamin C, phenolics, low level of glycine, fat and high level of water content. It’s also show efficient antioxidant properties and have ability to reduce pain, to attenuate mental degeneration, demagogic biomarkers and studies show that Prunus utilization related with reducing many diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular, cancer, and inflammatory diseases as long as reduce in tumor suppression, oxidant stress, glucose control and inflammation. Till now, the cornelian cherry has been considered basically as decorative and wild medicinal specie. Cornelian cherry meets high level of medicinal purpose. Prunus specie is tolerant to dry conditions and hardy in winter, suitable for organic production and resistant to pests and diseases. Prunus avium become more appreciated by consumer due to its aroma, color, nutritional attributes and pleasant taste.

Phenotypic characterization

Phenotypic characterization is an appropriate method to classify and identify genetic populations of prunus. Prunus avium (50 fruits) without peduncles were squeezed in hand and wrapped in gauze till no more juice extracted and the soluble content of solid was resolved using digital refractometer. Moreover, structural characterization is a fast method to value cherry germ plasm and can give beneficial data for planned breeding programs. Fruits were roughly gather in at complete ripening phase focused on taste, color and fruit skin and then shifted to laboratory using refrigerated truck for future analysis.

Uses of cherry

Traditional uses

Trending pharmacological studies have shown that cornelian cherry surrounds a wide range of biological traits such as antiparasitic, antioxidant, antibacterial, anticoagulant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, lipid lowering effects, shielding effect on kidney function, liver and as well as the influence on blood factors and cardiovascular system. Standard application of Cornus mas includes inflammatory bowel disease, cholera, malaria, diarrhea, kidney stones, fever, heat exhaustion, urinary tract infections and bleeding. British soldiers in 1796 used cornelian cherry for the treatment of diarrhea which is commonly occur due to parasite called Giardia. Cornelian cherry has also been used in traditional medicine as a medicinal plant for the treatment of circulatory disorders, diarrhea with worm infection sources. Wildcherry is effective for insomnia but does not act as a sedative.its rejuvenative and nervine properties produce energy which in turn helps the body to settle and sleep. Thus it helps the body to address a stress related condition rather than masking it with sedatives.

Medicinal properties

Herbal medicines made from fruits, flowers and leaves of Cornus mas have been used for the treatment of chicken-pox, anemia, digestive problems, measles, hepatitis A (liver disease), rickets(soft bones), and pyelonephritis in traditional medicines.                                                    

Antidiabetic effects

A beneficial effect of more than 1200 remedial plants in decreasing the blood sugar level is known. As plants are always source for the furnishing of drugs. Large amount of anthocyanin is present in cornelian cherry and studies shown that the extract rich in anthocyanins reduce and inhibit α-glucosidase enzyme activity. α-Glucosidase is a digestive enzyme involved in carbohydrates hydrolysis. Cornelian cherry has an inhibitory effect on α-glucosidase enzyme and activatory effect of G-protein receptors that appear to improve insulin action through the receptors that lead to reduction of glucose.

Anti-cancer effects

 Cure of Cancer is based on its use in traditional medicine and it is isolated from natural resources. Cytotoxic effects of ethanolic extract of the unripe and ripe fruit of Cornelian cherry with concentrations of 10, 50, 100, 150, 200, 250 μg/mL were evaluated on Hepatitis G2 (liver cancer), MCF1 (breast cancer), CHO (hamster ovary normal) cell lines by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazolyl-2)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. The findings indicated that inhibitory effect of the extract was dose and time dependent and there was a significant difference between the half maximal inhibitory concentration of immature and ripe fruit in all cell lines.

Dosage; how many cherry should eat per day?

The no of cherry need to eat a day is 25 sweet or about100 tart cherries a day. The easier way to get that many cherries is by drinking a more concentrated juice. The reason this works might be because cherries are a source of melatonin, a hormone that’s important for sleep. With all of their nutrients, cherries are clearly good for you. It’s no wonder they have a reputation for all kinds of health benefits. But most studies that aim to support those claims are pretty small. They also use cherries in amounts you probably won’t eat on a regular basis-from 45-270 cherries a day/to get those positive effects.

Emerging trends and future perspectives

A recent and significant challenge for sour cherry production has been the widespread naturalization of the spotted wing drosophila (SWD) vinegar fly (Drosophila suzukii), which readily infests soft sour cherry fruit and currently is difficult to control due to limited labelled pesticides, many natural alternate hosts, and a very high fecundity. Fruiting wall canopies also can be developed in dual plane V-, Y-, or U-shaped architectures to intercept more light per orchard area and increase yield potential.

Authors: Tahreem Arshad, Athar Mahmood, Muhammad Anjum Zia, Maria Naqve  University of Agriculture Faisalabad