Columbia Phyto Technology and Kerry Ringer, a Washington State University assistant professor, recently published the results of their study in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.
The team looked into preserving the health-promoting compounds in dried blueberry powder. The reason for the interest in the study was because of consumers needs for highly nutritious foods as well as concerns about costs. Also, because blueberries are a seasonal crop they end up having a short life as a fresh product. Because of their popularity, they end up being frozen or processed. However, keeping food frozen can end up being a financial burden on the industry as well as the consumer.
The technology was the radiant zone dryer. It ended up preserving as many antioxidants and anthocyanins as their liquid counterparts. Ringer noted, “We focused our study on drying of blueberry puree, blueberry juice and blueberry extract supplied by Washington fruit processing companies.”
This is excellent news because dried blueberry powder allows for minimal degradation of anthocyanins and therefore makes the preservation of blueberries more cost effective.
Ringer added, “This project demonstrated the development of value-added products that potentially bolster profit margins and the types and numbers of jobs in agriculture.”