VALDIVIAN FOREST FRUITS
The national territory is a privileged zone for the production of fruits such as berries, so much so that in the last decade, Chile has become in the major producer of berries worldwide and the main exporter of the south hemisphere to markets such as the United States, Europe, Asia and even Latin America. According to the Oficina de Estudios y Políticas Agrarias [Agricultural Studies and Policies Department] (ODEPA) from the agricultural Ministry of Agriculture, annual exports of berries are closed to 1,000 million of dollars.
The Ministry of Agriculture highlights the Region of Los Ríos as the zone concentrating the highest production of berries in the country, both introduced (raspberries, blueberries and cranberries), and native (maqui, murta, murtilla, elder flower and calafate). These latter of higher commercial value, are internationally well-known for containing the highest antioxidant levels across the globe.
Native berries, such as maqui and murta, named “super fruits”, also act as cell protectors, restrain multiplication capacity of cancer cells which cause tumors and provide brain health care from neurodegenerative processes. In relation to diabetes, these fruits are useful to reduce the glucose absorption rate that has an influence on the disease control.
According to the Instituto de Nutrición y Tecnología de los Alimentos [Food Nutrition and Technology Institute] (INTA) multiple properties of berries, especially, the native ones, is due to its great amount of polyphenols, anthocyanins and phytochemicals, as a result of the lower geomagnetic field of Chile, the ecosystem of the characteristic Valdivian forest, and the oceanic climate of the zone.
These products are coupled to the presence of outstanding fruit trees, such as the apple (with presence of the most acid apple species around the world (lemon apple) and ecotypes, genuine humanity patrimonies, that have been rescued in the territory, driven production of differentiated ciders, and opening the opportunity to develop diverse derived food lines), the European hazelnut (with interesting performance attracting world-leading purchasers of this fruit), Chilean hazelnut (an endemic product with presence of active components favoring skin health and digestive system), among others.