The riberry is a great natural source of folate, with a content three times as high as a blueberry. Folate is especially needed during pregnancy but it continues to play an important role during adult growth. The fruit is also very rich in manganese and calcium. The berry has a high content of anthocyanin. This compound is a very strong antioxidant that appears to protect against heart diseases and some types of cancer. It boosts cognitive function, fighting Alzheimer's disease. In addition, the combination of vitamins and minerals in the riberry fruits improves the immune system and prevents colds. The riberry pulp was also used in the past against ear infections. Because of its attractive looks, the riberry plant is often used as a street tree or ornamental plant in gardens. It has a beautiful crown, with spectacular flowers during the summer, while providing a lot of shade. In addition, the fruit is edible and delicious. All of these advantages make the tree one of the best choices for gardens, or as a shade tree in orchards. It requires little maintenance and can be pruned to stay small in size.
The riberry fruit can be consumed raw, right after picking it from the tree. It is often prepared as a jam, which has a trademark flavor. However, it can also be turned into syrup, sauce or various types of confectionery. The distinctive spicy taste of riberry makes it especially useful as an ingredient in chutney or sauces paired with meat dishes. These can be the traditional pork, chicken or lamb, but also kangaroo or other native venison types. It is not suited for fish or beef but works well in vegetable recipes, salads or desserts. In cooking, the best varieties are the seedless ones, since there is no need to prepare them before use. The fruit has a very strong taste, similar to most Australian bush foods. Because of the intense flavor, it is used in small amounts as an ingredient and usually paired with other products. Like all fruits, it can also be included in cake, ice cream or other desserts, as well as served with yoghurt. It can also be paired with cheese or combined into a very spicy alcoholic cocktail with vodka.
The harvest time depends on the location and climate. The season is between the end of November until the half of January in southern Queensland and northern New South Wales, but in the south of the continent it can last until the end of February. The usual method to harvest the small fruits is to put nets under the trees. The ripe berries accumulate in the nets and should be collected at least once per day, although this might not be enough during the season. The harvested riberry fruits should be stored in cold rooms the same day they are picked, after being sorted and washed. In refrigerated storage the fruits don't last longer than two weeks. For longer storage, they have to be frozen. If frozen at -16 to -24 �C, they maintain their taste and properties for a maximum of two years.