12 January - 20 June 2016

Polyphenol content of blueberries reduced by cooking, proving and baking

6 Nov 13

Researchers from Reading, Newcastle and Dusseldorf collaborated on a study into the effects of cooking, proving and baking on the (poly)phenol contents of blueberries. Eating blueberries has been associated with improvements in cognitive performance and vascular health, reductions in inflammation, and with modulation of the intestinal microbiota. These health benefits are usually attributed to (poly)phenols, such as flavonoids. The major group of flavonoids present in blueberry are anthocyanins, and there are also significant amounts of procyanidins, which exist in monomeric and oligomeric forms, flavonols such as quercetin, and other nonflavonoid phenolic compounds such as 5-O-caffeoylquinic acid, ferulic acid, and p-coumaric acid. The researchers note in their paper, published in the Journal of Agricultural Chemistry that previous studies report a considerable reduction of polyphenol levels in blueberries after processing. The majority of these studies focused on the effects of storage, freezing, thermal processing, extrusion, and canning in processes related to the production of juices, jams, jellies, and puree products. In this study, the researchers looked at the effects of common domestic and industrial cooking methods on the (poly)phenol content of berries.  They observed that anthocyanin levels decreased during cooking, proving, and baking, whereas no significant changes were observed for total procyanidins. However, lower molecular weight procyanidins increased and high molecular weight oligomers decreased during the process. Quercetin and ferulic and caffeic acid levels remained constant, whereas increases were found for chlorogenic acid. They note that the choice of leavening agents may be a critical factor for the stability of (poly)phenols during baking, with yeast being more suitable than baking powders to improve the retention of these compounds in baked products.

RSSL's Functional Ingredients Laboratory can assay a range of products for polyphenolic components. For more information please contact Customer Services on Freephone 0800 243482 or email enquiries@rssl.com

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