Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Latin American blueberries found to be 'extreme superfruits'

Date:
July 14, 2011
Source:
The New York Botanical Garden
Summary:
With antioxidant levels two to four times higher than the blueberries available in the US, two species native to Central and South America may challenge one of summer's favorite treats as a source of these disease-fighting substances.

One of the treats of summer -- fresh, antioxidant-rich blueberries -- has new competition for the title of "superfruit."

Related Articles


But at least the contenders are keeping the title in the family.

Researchers have found that two species of wild blueberries native to the tropical regions of Central and South America -- the New World tropics, or Neotropics -- contain two to four times more antioxidants than the blueberries sold in U.S. markets.

This finding is the result of an analysis of the compounds contained in neotropical blueberries grown at The New York Botanical Garden.

The study was conducted by Professor Edward Kennelly, a biologist at Lehman College in the Bronx who is an expert in medicinal plants, and Paola Pedraza, Ph.D., a botanist at The New York Botanical Garden whose specialties include South American blueberry species.

"No one had looked at this," Dr. Pedraza said. "The results are very promising."

For their study, published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the scientists examined five species of neotropical blueberries. The two species that had the highest amounts of antioxidants were Cavendishia grandifolia and Anthopterus wardii.

"We consider these two species of neotropical blueberries to be extreme superfruits with great potential to benefit human health," Dr. Kennelly said.

Antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables have been associated with lower incidence of some chronic diseases and may help protect against heart disease, inflammatory ailments such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and even cancer.

Of the five neotropical blueberry species used in the study, four came from the Nolen Greenhouses for Living Collections and the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory at The New York Botanical Garden. One came from the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

Although these blueberries are wild species that are not currently commercially available, the scientists believe that they have the potential to become a popular food item or health supplement if their high antioxidant content becomes better known.

"I think it's just a matter of time until people start working on making them more available," Dr. Pedraza said.

More than 600 neotropical species are related to the "highbush" blueberries common to the American market. Several of them, including the two most promising species in Drs. Kennelly and Pedraza's study, are native to the high-elevation forests of the Andes Mountains, one of the most endangered ecosystems in the world.

The discovery that these blueberries have potential benefits for humans underscores the importance of preserving Earth's biodiversity, Pedraza said.

"There are so many things out there that could have an impact on our lives," she said. "That's why we should be worried about conservation in our country and in other countries because you never know when good things will come to light."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The New York Botanical Garden. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Keyvan Dastmalchi, Gema Flores, Vanya Petrova, Paola Pedraza-Peñalosa, Edward J. Kennelly. Edible Neotropical Blueberries: Antioxidant and Compositional Fingerprint Analysis. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2011; 59 (7): 3020 DOI: 10.1021/jf200367j

Cite This Page:

The New York Botanical Garden. "Latin American blueberries found to be 'extreme superfruits'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110714120857.htm>.
The New York Botanical Garden. (2011, July 14). Latin American blueberries found to be 'extreme superfruits'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110714120857.htm
The New York Botanical Garden. "Latin American blueberries found to be 'extreme superfruits'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110714120857.htm (accessed March 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, March 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Arthropod Fossil Might Be Relative Of Spiders, Scorpions

New Arthropod Fossil Might Be Relative Of Spiders, Scorpions

Newsy (Mar. 29, 2015) A 508-million-year-old arthropod that swam in the Cambrian seas is thought to share a common ancestor with spiders and scorpions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Vietnam Rice Boom Piles Pressure on Farmers and the Environment

Vietnam Rice Boom Piles Pressure on Farmers and the Environment

AFP (Mar. 29, 2015) Vietnam&apos;s drive to become the world&apos;s leading rice exporter is pushing farmers in the fertile Mekong Delta to the brink, say experts, with mounting costs to the environment. Duration: 02:35 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Lioness Has Rare Five-Cub Litter

Raw: Lioness Has Rare Five-Cub Litter

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) A lioness in Pakistan has given birth to five cubs, twice the usual size of a litter. Queen gave birth to two other cubs just nine months ago. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) Using motion tracking technology, researchers from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) are trying to establish an optimum horse riding style to train junior jockeys, as well as enhance safety, health and well-being of both racehorses and jockeys. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins