Frozen Elderberries

While they last, small orders in 25lb. packs for $117.50 (2023 harvest) + FedEx shipping. 
Certified organic Sambucus canadensis American elderberries grown in Iowa. Each box (17” x 15” x 15”) holds 25 lb. of frozen (when sent) food grade bagged elderberries that are then double bagged  with ice in food grade plastic to prevent leakage. They usually thaw to varying degrees, which makes them easy to repack, if desired, in smaller freezer bags and refrozen. Orders of 600+ lb.  qualify for discounted pricing. 

On all orders, priority is given to MEC member growers, past customers and date deposit is received. For orders of 600 lb. or more, please go to the Commercial Orders page.

Looking to substitute frozen for thermally dried elderberries? While each recipe is a bit different, start with 4lb. frozen = 1 lb. thermally dried, test taste and adjust. This will actually give you more of the complete fruit nutrient package, and you do not need to cook it so long or at high temps. We process shelf stable retail juice at 160-180F. The less cooking should give better taste and in theory better nutrition. 

Contact Chris Patton first by email:, or by phone, preferably between 9am-5pm Central Time 612-418-4624. (Orders are usually in 25 lb. increments due to our pack in 4 gal. food grade pails.) 

Are Raw Native Elderberries Safe? 

A multi-year project ending in 2018 by University of Missouri researchers discovered that ripe native (Sambucus canadensis) black elderberries and their seeds do not have any meaningful level of glycosides (pre-cyanides) that can make one sick. [Note: Ripe native (S. canadensis) berries often appear more reddish in color than the European (nigra) berries, which is probably due to the additional anthocyanins found in the North American condenses cultivars. Native berries are also quite a bit smaller.]

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. 

Technical Note: Cultivar “Marge” was not a part of the above study and is likely to have more glycosides present since it is classified as an American adapted European Sambucus nigra. (4/9/2019 email from Andrew Thomas lead researcher UMO)

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