Commercial Orders

American Elder Berries & Flowers

Orders are being taken for 2023 harvest bulk frozen native elderberries. Email This is the best way to handle larger orders in order to give you the best price and delivery options, hopefully from a grower in your area. We have up to 80,000 lb. bulk frozen in 4 gal. pails available for sale - both certified organic and sustainably grown in the USA, native S. nigra canadensis berries. 

Click on the drop down menu for the ingredient you wish to purchase. If there is a PayPal button, it means we have arrangements in place to sell the quantity indicated. Each button will present any options on quantity and pricing with shipping.  (credit cards accepted)

The native dried elderberries chew like little berry kernels about the size of peppercorns. They do not need to be cooked to be enjoyed. You may add them to cereals or salads and in baking, for example. Naturally more reddish, North American black elderberries taste and smell better than the imports. Most dried elderberries imported from Europe are wild collected. European research found that “...wild elderberry have the lowest quantities of these bioactive compounds…” [Point #14, Functional Ingredient page] 

Our native elderberry cultivars (Sambucus nigra canadensis) were selected from the wild (including named cultivars) and usually planted in fields following organic, agroforestry / permaculture land management principles. They are picked, destemmed, sanitized and frozen fresh on the same day in 25 lb. four gallon food grade pails (rated 28 lb.).

Are Raw Native Elderberries Safe? 

Elderberry Flower Production and Cyanide Concern
Andrew L. Thomas University of Missouri Division of Plant Sciences, Southwest Research Center Mt. Vernon, MO.  This article gives a photo and graph rundown of a multi-year study investigating the whether native North American Sambucus (nigra) canadensis contains proto-cyanide glycosides in quantities sufficient to warrant specific processing requirements beyond clean harvest. 

Summary of Findings:

  • Picrate paper method was successfully used to assess the total cyanogenic potential.
  • A control test with two apple varieties showed high levels of cyanide in the seeds.
  • No cyanide was detected in commercial (processed) elderberry juice
  • Levels of cyanide detected in tissues of fresh berries were very low; lowest in juice & seeds and highest in stems & green berries.
  • Levels of CNG’s detected with LC-MS method were very low in all tissues and consistent with picrate results.
  • Detected levels pose no threat to American Elderberry consumers. Excluding stems, green berries and leaves in juice preparation is recommended.

[Click here to read the full article.]

This does not seem to be true for European Sambucus nigra elderberries, which have a history of production processes to neutralize the potential issues related to glycosides. That is why those imported ingredients are more processed and may also be part of the reason why native elderberries taste better than the European ones.

While the latest research at the university of Missouri (soon to be published) indicates that fresh/frozen, ripe elderberries do not have significant levels of glycosides, some few people seem to be strongly affected by consuming raw elderberries or elderberry juice, where it upsets their digestive system. Why they have a lower tolerance for elderberry is not clearly understood. Fresh and raw frozen berries that are fermented or heated so that the entire volume reaches 180° F, or more have not been associated with any health related incidents to our knowledge

© 2020 Midwest Elderberry Cooperative