History and Origin

The goji berry (pronounced „Gotshi“) is a shrub fruit originating in Asia. Its beneficial effects have been known in China, Tibet and Mongolia for at least 4800 years. Today, they are cultivated in north-eastern Central China, in the autonomous province of Ningxia, where an annual festival of thanks lasting several days is celebrated with music and dancing and is dedicated to the berries. People from Ningxia believe in the miraculous effects of the „happy fruit“ and there are in fact 16 times more people who have reached their hundredth birthday in that province than in the rest of China.

We know the red wonder fruit from the nightshade family as the Chinese Wolfberry (or as boxthorn), while its Latin name is lycium barbarum but this versatile fruit is commonly and aptly translated as the „happy berry“. It arrived in Europe in the mid-18th century, although people were unaware of plant’s health potential for a long time. Albeit somewhat late, the „happy berry“ is now becoming increasingly popular in Europe, which is a good thing: this powerful red fruit promises nothing less than a long, vital and happy life.

Components

The goji berry is a multi-vitamin capsule in its most natural form. In addition to high levels of vitamin C and a very high number of B vitamins (B1, B2, B3), it also has a remarkable range of other vitamins, trace elements and minerals. The happy berry contains a total of 19 amino acids (protein building blocks) and an incredible 21 trace elements, including iron, calcium and zinc. The specific polysaccharides and carotenoids (natural pigments) also seem to be important factors in the goji berry’s positive effects.

Goji berries for health

The „happy fruit“ goji has always played a part in traditional Chinese medicine and the healing arts and is idolized as a veritable fountain of youth. The easily digestible berry is widely used in China for the treatment and curing of numerous diseases. Confidence in its reliability has not wavered for thousands of years.

Modern critical science is currently studying what exactly the goji berry can do and almost 3,000 studies on the effects and uses of this powerful fruit have so far been published.

In summary, these studies show that: the goji berry is the most nutritious plant on earth and it is therefore one of the best foods on the planet. In addition - and this has also been confirmed by science - the goji berry has one of the highest concentrations of vitamins and antioxidants of all the fruits in the world.

The incredibly high level of antioxidants means, in particular, that the goji berry not only has a real anti-aging effect but also ensures that the liver (and therefore the body as a whole) is detoxified more efficiently.

The berry is abundant in carotenoids (including zeaxanthin), which are especially important for our eyes as these vital substances can prevent the dreaded macular degeneration (a widespread eye disease in people over 60).

Every fifth cell in the human body is an immune cell and the goji berry helps them all work more effectively - it has been proved that goji berries make it more difficult for pathogens, toxins and mutated cells to infiltrate our immune system, a positive effect that results from the polysaccharides in them. These are complex carbohydrates, which are able to activate the body‘s own T-lymphocytes. As these specialized immune cells focus on fighting cancer cells and viruses, the goji berry is being used increasingly in corresponding therapies.

Owing to their anti-inflammatory effects, goji berries are also ideal for treating rheumatism, asthma, allergies and chronic pain. These red fruits are more and more frequently included in holistic action plans for relieving symptoms and recovery, even for autoimmune diseases. And there is also great hope that the goji berry may be able to help in the treatment of arthritis.

In summary, the aforementioned 3,000 scientific studies, numerous experiments and clinical tests show that the most nutritious fruit in the world has an almost unimaginable abundance of positive effects on the physical and mental well being of humans, and yet no adverse effects are known.

Finally, there is the very important point (but one that is difficult to prove scientifically) that the goji berry has a relaxing effect and makes people happier and more relaxed. If taken over long periods of time, it reduces feelings of stress and….. the wonder berry is even said to have an aphrodisiac effect! This applies equally to men and women and perhaps explains why it is known as the „happy berry“.

Consumption and Use

Goji berries provide an opportunity to eat healthily in an enjoyable way with delicious food. The most nutritious fruit in the world, with the highest number of vitamins, is exotic and tastes sweet yet it is simultaneously slightly sour and bitter. The red to reddish-brown goji berry is generally available fresh and dried and looks like a raisin but is slightly larger.

The goji berry can be eaten raw or, when dried, makes an ideal addition to muesli with yoghurt or milk, to salads and also goes well with ice cream and desserts. The little red goji fruit can also easily be turned into a delicious smoothie. When cooked, the fresh berries make an excellent accompaniment to meat and fish dishes and they can also be used in soups or stews.

Wonderful jams and preserves can also be made from the red miracle berry - our goji berry fruit jams are considered culinary highlights, which not everyone knows about (yet).

Moreover, goji berry extracts can be obtained that are then processed into vitamin-rich, delicious drinks such as tea, fruit juice and even champagne.

Anyone currently on a diet may want to consider eating goji berries as a valuable nutritional supplement, as they can reduce hunger pangs and high blood pressure.

Experts recommend, ideally, a handful of berries every day, particularly for children and pregnant women.

China is still the world‘s largest producer and exporter of goji berries but is also the world‘s largest producer and consumer of pesticides. In 2011, Chinese food inspections revealed alarmingly high levels of pollutants and pesticides, and the import of many products into the United States and Europe has been banned. Chinese farmers are therefore cut off from some international markets and the goji berry, in particular, has been adversely affected.

Now for the good news: In South Tyrol, everyone can consume this valuable red fruit, as the plant grows and thrives exceptionally here - the climatic conditions in this region being ideal. Goji berries are not affected by snow and cold weather; they are considered to be absolutely hardy and are able to survive at temperatures of minus 30° Celsius.The plant is not very demanding when it comes to the type of soil and once established, its water requirement is low but it thrives best in sunny locations.

South Tyrol has much more to offer than Gewürztraminer wine, bacon and cypress. Overall, the province, whose total area is around 7,400 square kilometers, provides just under 242,000 hectares of agricultural land, managed by over 20,000 farm businesses. Agriculture is spread throughout South Tyrol and there are fields all the way up from the valleys to the mountains and tree line. Lush meadows continue even above the treeline.

Goji berries from South Tyrol

Cultivation

Do all of your goji berries come from Schornhof?

Very definitely yes! We only use goji berries from Schornhof in our products. However, when it states „gojis from South Tyrol“, this means that the product includes gojis from South Tyrol.

Is Schornhof an organic farm?

Organic farming is of great interest to us and our operation has been working consistently in this direction for several years. We currently comply fully with the existing organic standards and in a few years we will be a certified organic business.

Our EC control number is: BZ-01124-A

How do you harvest the goji berries?

We harvest our goji berries completely by hand, with help from our harvesting assistants. We can only guarantee consistency and top quality berries by picking them by hand. We train our harvesters before they lick their first goji berry and familiarize them with the special features of this valuable fruit.

What checks are carried out?

We aspire to produce and deliver the highest quality, so we go even further than the extensive requirements and inspections specified by the official organic certification board ABCERT. We carry out independent checks continuously and also use independent laboratories such as the research center in Laimburg, which provides detailed leaf and residue analyses of our goji shrubs. In addition, we are monitored and advised by another external company, which brings us up to speed regarding HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) matters, thus enhancing our working safety.