Since blueberries are frozen soon after they are picked, “they are equal in quality to fresh,” Plumb explains. She analyzed the anthocyanin content of blueberries frozen for one, three, and five months and found no decrease in antioxidants over fresh berries.
Blueberries pack a powerful antioxidant punch, whether eaten fresh or from the freezer, according to South Dakota State University graduate Marin Plumb.
Anthocyanins, a group of antioxidant compounds, are responsible for the color in blueberries, she explains. Since most of the color is in the skin, freezing the blueberries actually improves the availability of the antioxidants.
The food science major from Rapid City, who received her bachelor’s degree in December, did her research as part of an honors program independent study project.
“Blueberries go head to head with strawberries and pomegranates in antioxidant capacity,” says professor Basil Dalaly, Plumb’s research adviser. In addition, blueberries are second only to strawberries, in terms of the fruits Americans prefer.
Blueberries are beneficial for the nervous system and brain, cardiovascular system, eyes, and urinary tract, Dalaly explains. “Some claim it’s the world’s healthiest food.”
The United States produces nearly 84% of the world’s cultivated…
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