Nebraska Researchers Create Aronia Berry Startup

9 Aug 2022, 4 p.m. ·

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Keenan Friesen pulls a harvester through a row of aronia bushes. (Photo by Fred Knapp, Nebraska Public Media News)

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The Aronia berry’s ability to grow well in the Midwest could create some diversity in Nebraska’s farms. Two UNL researchers are turning the healthy berry into a business.

Doctor Changmou Xu and his wife went from being Aronia Berry researchers to business partners in a new Nebraska startup called A+ Berry. Aronia berries are high in antioxidants and have high value as a crop.

Dr. Changmou said this “super-berry” is underutilized when it could greatly improve human health.

“The pharmacist still cannot sell the berry, so that's why I want to fund a start up company to commercialize our research funding to help the farmer to find a way to use the berry," Dr. Changmou said.

He says his mission with the A+ Berry startup, is to create drinks that utilize the Aronia Berry and bring positive impacts to midwestern agriculture. They even developed a non-alcoholic red wine using the Aronia Berry.

Dr. Changmou hopes to continue building a sustainable industry that is not only beneficial to growers, but to stakeholders and consumers too.

A+ Berry is currently selling products such as aro-juice, aro-wine and aro-concentrate from the Food Processing Center next to Nebraska’s Innovation campus. You can also order a sample of their beverages from their website at a+berry.com.