Posts Tagged “Highbush Blueberry Council”

Blueberry Shipments will Continue to Soar

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DSCN2861U.S. blueberry production could approach 1 billion pounds in the next three years.

A projected 940 million pounds will be grown in 2019, up from 750.2 million pounds in 2015, according to the Folsom, Calif.-based U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council.

Production in 2016 will likely surpass 750 million pounds again, and worldwide production could top 1.4 billion pounds, according to a news release.

Soaring demand for blueberries will continue to mean increased U.S. production, according to the council. From 2010 to 2015, per-capita consumption in North America increased by almost 50 percent.

Also, Americans polled in 2013 said they were almost twice as likely as they were in 2004 to buy blueberries in the coming year, and 84 percent said they were aware of blueberries’ health benefits, up 115 percent from 2004.

In 2015, fresh retail sales of blueberries in the U.S. totaled nearly $1.5 billion, up 7 percent from 2014 and making them the No. 2 berry seller behind strawberries.

As U.S. blueberry production grows, exports will continue to grow, according to the council. About 10% of the U.S. crop is exported, with more than 79 million pounds shipping to other countries in 2015, up 60 percent from 2005.

The council said it will work hard in coming years to expand exports to existing markets and to open access to countries where U.S. blueberries currently can’t be shipped, including Australia, Chile, China, the Philippines, South Africa, South Korea and Vietnam.

California, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon and Washington are the top blueberry-producing states in the U.S.

Health benefits of blueberries

  • Blueberries are very low in calories. 100 g fresh berries carry just 57 calories. Nonetheless, they possess notable health benefiting plant-nutrients such as soluble dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins, and pigment anti-oxidants that contribute immensely towards optimum health and wellness.
  • Blueberries are among the highest anti-oxidant value fruits. The ORAC value of 100 g fresh blueberry is 5562 TE (Trolex equivalents). Their antioxidant value largely comes from poly-phenolic anthocyanidin compounds such as chlorogenic acid, tannins, myricetin, quercetin and kaempferol.
  • Additionally they compose of other flavonoid anti-oxidants such as carotene-ß, lutein and zea-xanthin.
  • Altogether, the phyto-chemical compounds in the blueberry help rid off harmful oxygen-derived free radicals from the human body, and thereby, protect it against cancers, aging, degenerative diseases, and infections.
  • Further, research studies suggest that chlorogenic acid in these berries help lower blood sugar levels and control blood-glucose levels in type-II diabetes mellitus condition.
  • Fresh berries carry small amount of vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin E. Altogether, these vitamins work as potent anti-oxidants which help limit free radical mediated injury to the body.
  • The berries also carry a small amount of B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine, folates and pantothenic acid. These vitamins are acting as co-factors that help in metabolism of carbohydrates, protein, and fats.
  • Furthermore, they contain a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, copper, iron and zinc. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper is required for the production of red blood cells. Iron is required for red blood cell formation.

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