Over 20 Years of Health Research

Since 1997, the Wild Blueberry Association of North America (WBANA) has been collaborating with elite scientists to help study the health benefits of wild blueberries. WBANA is dedicated to furthering research that explores the health potential of wild blueberries and annually funds research studies that help advance the understanding of the nutritional and human health benefits of wild blueberries.

Each year, WBANA has hosts the Wild Blueberry Health Research Summit in Bar Harbor, Maine, a worldwide gathering of renowned scientists and researchers from leading institutions representing broad disciplines — from cardiovascular health to cancer to heart disease, osteoporosis, neurological diseases of aging, and more. Their work is leading the way to learn more about the health benefits of wild blueberries, and their findings, which use rigorous methodology, are documented in a growing number of published studies on the potential health and disease-fighting benefits of wild blueberries. All published research studies are written by and submitted to peer-reviewed journals by the researcher, independent of WBANA.

Below are scientific research papers that provide more detail into the role wild blueberries may play in promoting human health.

Utilization of dried apple pomace as a press aid to improve the quality of strawberry, raspberry, and blueberry juices

Roberts, J. S.; Gentry, T. S.; Bates, A. W.
View Article
Show Details

Effects of conventional press aids (rice hulls, paper) were investigated on the quality of strawberry, raspberry and blueberry juice, and the effectiveness of dried apple pomace as an alternative press aid was evaluated. Juice yields obtained using apple pomace were similar to those obtained using rice hulls and paper. Triangle difference tests demonstrated that there were differences between the berry juices pressed with conventional press aids and those pressed with apple pomace; paired comparison preference tests revealed that berry juices pressed with apple pomace were preferred. Flavour analysis using GC-olfactometry indicated the presence of possible off-flavours in berry juices from rice hulls (indole and 4-vinylguaical) and paper ((Z)-2-octenal and 2-nonenal).


Evaluation of water washes for the removal of organophosphorus pesticides from Maine wild blueberries

Hazen, R. A.; Perkins, L. B.; Bushway, R. J.; Bushway, A. A.
View Article
Show Details

Effect of fruit blanching on phenolics and radical scavenging activity of highbush blueberry juice

Rossi, M.; Giussani, E.; Morelli, R.; Scalzo, R. lo; Nani, R. C.; Torreggiani, D.
View Article
Show Details

Effects of steam blanching, applied to inactivate polyphenol oxidase (PPO; catechol oxidase) before milling of blueberries, were investigated on the recovery of anthocyanins and total cinnamates, in relation to the radical scavenging activity of the blueberry juice. Results showed that inactivation of PPO by steam blanching markedly increased the anthocyanin and cinnamate recovery when blueberries were processed into juice. In comparison to juice obtained using traditional methods, juices obtained from blanched blueberries were bluer and less red, due to the higher recovery of delphinidin- and petunidin-glycosides, which have an intense blue colour, than cyanidin-glycosides and peonidin-glycosides, which are orange coloured. The higher recovery of phenols resulted in a marked increase in the radical-scavenging activity of the juice.


Modification of glass transition temperature through carbohydrates addition and anthocyanin and soluble phenol stability of frozen blueberry juices

Rizzolo, A.; Nani, R. C.; Viscardi, D.; Bertolo, G.; Torreggiani, D.
View Article
Show Details

Effects of addition of different carbohydrates were studied on anthocyanin content and soluble phenol stability of frozen blueberry juices stored at different temp. above their max. freeze-concentrated glass transition temp. Fresh, pasteurized blueberry juice was treated with 20% (wt./wt.) of either maltose or sorbitol, or a 1:1 mixture of glucose and fructose. Juice samples were then frozen and stored at —10, —20 and —30°C for up to 6 months. Glass transition temp. of samples correlated with those of the added sugars; it increased substantially with addition of maltose, while it increased and decreased slightly with addition of sorbitol and glucose/fructose, respectively. Transition temp. did not alter significantly with storage time. Total content of anthocyanins decreased slightly during storage at —10 and —20°C, while it remained unchanged at —30°C. Sugar addition had no effect on anthocyanin content of juices during frozen storage.


Ascorbic acid fortification reduces anthocyanins in extruded blueberry-corn cereals

Chaovanalikit, A.; Dougherty, M. P.; Camire, M. E.; Briggs, J.
View Article
Show Details

Corn meal was mixed with ascorbic acid (0%, 0.1%, and 1%, wt/wt) and sucrose (15%) or lowbush blueberry concentrate (17%), and twin-screw extruded to produce ready-to-eat breakfast cereals. Consumers evaluated selected samples using just-right scales. Extrusion decreased anthocyanins in blueberry cereals; ascorbic acid was retained better in cereals containing blueberry concentrate than in the sweetened corn cereals. Blueberry concentrate decreased expansion ratio and increased bulk density. Based on sensory scores, blueberry extrudates with 0.1% ascorbic acid could be acceptable if sweetness is increased.


Impact of juice processing on blueberry anthocyanins and polyphenolics: comparison of two pretreatments

Lee, J.; Durst, R. W.; Wrolstad, R. E.
View Article
Show Details

Frozen blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum L. cv. Rubel) were pilot-plant-processed into juice and concentrate: 2 treatments (heat and SO2) and a control. Pressed juice yield ranged from 74 to 83% (w/w), but only 13 to 23% of the anthocyanins and 36 to 39% of the polyphenolics were recovered in the pasteurized juice. A substantial amount of anthocyanins and polyphenolics (> 42% and > 15%, respectively of the starting material) were present in the presscakes. Measurements of total and individual flavonoids showed a great loss after the initial processing steps (thawing, crushing, and depectinization). Overall anthocyanin levels were higher in treated samples after each processing step, but polyphenolic levels remained similar to those in the control.


Involvement of blueberry peroxidase in the mechanisms of anthocyanin degradation in blueberry juice

Kader, F.; Irmouli, M.; Nicolas, J. P.; Metche, M.
View Article
Show Details

In an attempt to understand the role of blueberry peroxidase (POD) in anthocyanin degradation in blueberry juices, effect of H2O2 addition on the browning of blueberry juices was examined. Addition of H2O2 to blueberry juice changed the red coloration toward brown. Addition of ascorbic acid prevented the formation of brown polymers. An extract of POD prepared from blueberries was able to oxidize chlorogenic acid (CG) into the corresponding o-quinone, but only in the presence of H2O2. Chlorogenoquinone played a dominant role in anthocyanin degradation. It was demonstrated that POD extract in the absence of CG showed a weak degradation activity toward blueberry anthocyanins, cyanidin 3-glucoside and pelargonidin 3-glucoside. Nevertheless, addition of CG increased anthocyanin degradation, leading to formation of brown polymers. Therefore, blueberry POD could participate in the development of browning during blueberry juice storage.


Blueberry and grape anthocyanins as breakfast cereal colorants

Camire, M. E.; Chaovanalikit, A.; Dougherty, M.P.; Briggs, J.
View Article
Show Details

Fruit anthocyanins provide color and health benefits, thus cereals containing these pigments could be used as functional foods. White corn meal with 10% sucrose was twin-screw extruded with either corn syrup, lowbush blueberry concentrate, or Concord grape-juice concentrate. Extrusion reduced anthocyanins, but there was no change due to storage at room temperature for 3 mo. Polymeric color was higher in the blueberry cereal. The grape cereal was lighter and less red than the blueberry product. Bulk density was highest in the corn-syrup cereal. Overall acceptability was higher for the syrup and grape cereals. Sweetness and flavor acceptability were correlated with overall liking.


Quality and stability of blueberry juice blended with apple, grape and cranberry juice

Main, G.; Faupel, M.; Morris, J.; McNew, R.
View Article
Show Details

Sensory properties and storage stability of blueberry (Vacciniumcorymbosum) juice blends were investigated with the goal of maintaining dominant blueberry flavour, aroma and colour. Apple juice, grape juice (Concord and Venus var.) and cranberry juice cocktail were blended at 75, 50 and 25% with blueberry juice. As the percentage of blueberry juice decreased, the intensity of blueberry-related sensory attributes decreased. The 25% Concord and Venus blends were the only blends that resulted in blueberry flavour similar to the control. Apple and cranberry juice cocktail blended with blueberry juice produced several blends with good flavour and aroma, but they were not readily characterized as blueberry juice. All blends at the 25% level produced blueberry colour equal to or greater than the control. Juice samples were evaluated initially and after 3 months of storage at 37°C. After storage, all blends had decreased red colour.


Controlled atmosphere storage of highbush blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum) and rabbiteye blueberries (V. ashei)

Eccher, T.; Gibin, M.; Carotti, E.
View Article
Show Details

Blueberry fruit can be easily stored at low temperature and high R.H., for nearly one month, without significant loss of quality. There are differences in storability between cultivars. A screening research was carried out in 2004 to evaluate the storability of 10 different cultivars, some of them produced in different localities, in the plains or on hills. Some cultivars (‘Berkeley’, ‘Brigitta’, ‘Elizabeth’, ‘Elliott’, ‘Lateblue’ and ‘Ozarkblue’) were highbush (V. corymbosum) and some (‘Briteblue’, ‘Centurion’, ‘Powderblue’ and ‘Tifblue’) were rabbiteye (V. ashei). Twenty boxes of each cultivar were harvested and immediately cooled at 0°C. Within 12 hours the boxes were divided into five groups and stored in five different atmospheres: 2% O2 and 10% CO2; 4% O2 and 10% CO2; 2% O2 and 14% CO2; 4% O2 and 14% CO2; control, 21% O2 and 0% CO2. Control boxes were checked monthly for decay, withering and general appearance of fruit; the boxes in the different atmospheres were checked after 2, 3, 4 or 5 months’ storage. Weight loss, color, firmness, number of decayed fruit, soluble solids, pH and acidity of juice of fruit were measured and general appearance and commercial quality were evaluated. All controlled atmospheres tested extended storability of fruits of all cultivars as compared to control. High differences of storability were found between cultivars: generally rabbiteye cultivars gave better results than highbush ones. High CO2 significantly reduced decay. The responses of different cultivars to CA composition are discussed.


1 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 131

Looking for more health research?

Contact KIT BROIHIER, resident nutrition adviser to the Wild Blueberry Association of North America

Email Kit

Kit Broihier, MS, RD, LD is the Nutrition advisor and spokesperson for the Wild Blueberry Association of North America. She is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian with a Masters Degree in Nutrition and is the owner of NutriComm Inc., a food and nutrition communications consulting company.

Ms. Broihier received a Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics from Michigan State University and a Master of Science degree in Nutrition Communications from Boston University.