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Baking blueberries changes their polyphenol content, health benefits

Date:
October 30, 2013
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Blueberries are called a "superfood" for their high polyphenol content, but when served as warm, gooey pie filling or when lending bursts of sweet flavor to a muffin, their "super" health benefits change. Scientists studied how cooking and baking affect the increasingly popular fruit's polyphenols and reported their mixed findings in a new article.

Blueberries are called a "superfood" for their high polyphenol content, but when served as warm, gooey pie filling or when lending bursts of sweet flavor to a muffin, their "super" health benefits change. Scientists studied how cooking and baking affect the increasingly popular fruit's polyphenols and reported their mixed findings -- levels of some of these substances rose while others fell -- in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

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Ana Rodriguez-Mateos and colleagues note that eating blueberries is associated with several health perks including improved thinking, reduced risk for heart disease and reduced inflammation. Research suggests that a set of natural plant compounds called polyphenols lend the fresh fruit these benefits. But consumers don't always enjoy blueberries raw. Some methods of processing, such as juicing and canning, lower polyphenol levels by 22 to 81 percent. However, no studies have tested whether using blueberries in breads, muffins or pies affects their polyphenol content. Rodriguez-Mateos' team sought to test the stability of these health-promoting compounds during cooking, proofing (when the dough rises before cooking) and baking.

They found that all three processes had mixed effects on blueberries' polyphenols including anthocyanin, procyanidin, quercetin and phenolic acids. Anthocyanin levels dropped by 10 to 21 percent. The levels of smaller procyanidin oligomers got a boost while those of the larger ones dipped. Phenolic acid levels increased. Other compounds such as quercetin remained constant. They say that the good retention of polyphenols observed in their study might be due to the use of yeast, which may act as a stabilizing agent during baking. "Due to their possible health benefits, a better understanding of the impact of processing is important to maximize the retention of these phytochemicals in berry-containing-products," the researchers state.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ana Rodriguez-Mateos, Tania Cifuentes-Gomez, Trevor W. George, Jeremy P. E. Spencer. Impact of Cooking, Proving, and Baking on the (Poly)phenol Content of Wild Blueberry. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2013; 131025155800004 DOI: 10.1021/jf403366q

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Baking blueberries changes their polyphenol content, health benefits." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131030104120.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2013, October 30). Baking blueberries changes their polyphenol content, health benefits. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131030104120.htm
American Chemical Society. "Baking blueberries changes their polyphenol content, health benefits." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131030104120.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

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