Blueberries Coated In Leaf Extracts Have Longer Shelf Life

An Oregon State University (OSU) researcher has helped discover a substance in blueberry leaves — which are usually wasted — that can be added to berry coatings, extending their shelf life while adding antioxidants.

Working with an international team of scientists in China, OSU food scientist Yanyun Zhao found that an edible coating containing blueberry leaf extracts helped delay decay and retain water, which slowed down their natural deterioration. The extra weight could also mean extra cash for growers, because blueberries are often sold by volume.

The natural coatings can allow fresh blueberries to be washed and prepared as ready-to-eat products. Most blueberries in stores are unwashed because rinsing them removes their natural waxy coating that preserves the fruit.

“Normally, blueberry leaves fall to the ground as waste,” said Zhao, a food science and technology professor in OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences. “We’ve discovered a use that can change how the berries are stored, sold, as well as increasing their nutritional value.”

Blueberry leaves, which have been used as an herbal remedy, contain high levels of antioxidant phenolics — chemical compounds with antimicrobial properties that protect against fungi and bacteria, such as E. coli and Salmonella.

To create the coatings, researchers mixed these phenolic extracts with chitosan, a natural preservative that comes from crustacean shells. OSU tested coatings made from leaves that were picked at different stages of berry maturity, and leaf extracts were formulated into five different coating treatments based on varying levels of phenols.

Blueberries were dipped in the liquid coating and then dried at room temperature to form dried coatings. Nozzles can also spray the coatings on the surface of the berries as they pass by on a conveyor belt, according to Zhao, a value-added food products specialist with the OSU Extension Service.

Coating the blueberries will add to their cost, she said, although it’s unclear how much.

The research was conducted in collaboration with scientists in China, including Yun Deng, at Shanghai Jiao Tong University at the school’s Bor Luh Food Safety Center, and published in the journals of Food Control and Postharvest Biology and Technology.

Source: Oregon State University

Topics: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Berries Stories
Closeup of a managed bee hive next to a blueberry field
Berries
September 22, 2016
It Behooves Blueberry Growers To Protect Pollinators
Placing priority on bee care best practices will ensure sweet success for your crop. Read More
Where does the water run? Follow the blue dye as seen during this demonstration in a plastic mulched system.
Photo courtesy of UF/IFAS
Berries
September 20, 2016
How To Track Irrigation: Keep Your Eye On The Blue Dye
Time-tested, color-appropriate method for following water movement in plasticulture veggie crops could prove fruitful in blueberries, too. Read More
Clusters of 'Patrecia' blueberries
Berries
September 17, 2016
Florida Blueberry Growers Keen On Two New Cultivars
Low-chill, machine-harvest capabilities define these southern highbush selections. Read More
Closeup of the Archer strawberry from Cornell University
Berries
September 13, 2016
New Peach-Sized Strawberry Big On Flavor
Latest variety from Cornell University geared for growers seeking success in local food sector. Read More
baby-blues-blueberry-feature
Berries
September 13, 2016
New Berry Releases Hit Marks For High Yields, Mechanical Harvest
ARS varieties offer growers two new alternatives to industry standards. Read More
Photo credit: Wikimedia commons
Berries
September 2, 2016
Strawberry Grower Fined For Demanding Kickbacks From H-2A Workers
Operator reportedly demanded rent, payments for transportation and expenses incurred bringing workers to U.S. Read More
Bob McConnell blueberry grower
Berries
September 1, 2016
Pick-Your-Own Pointers From Expert Blueberry Grower
30-year veteran Bob McConnell shares tips on variety selection, production practices, and finding your market. Read More
The Latest
Berries
September 24, 2016
Time Is Now For Florida Blueberry Grower…
Coming off a challenging season, industry players must continue to adapt to curveballs thrown by Mother Nature and market forces. Read More
Berries
September 23, 2016
What U.S. Consumers Think About Florida …
For growers, the good news is that shoppers like what you are serving up. But more can be done to whet appetites. Read More
Berries
September 22, 2016
Investors Clamoring For Automated Strawb…
Naturipe joins growing list of backers in the labor-saving vision and mission of ag-tech startup. Read More
Berries
September 22, 2016
It Behooves Blueberry Growers To Protect…
Placing priority on bee care best practices will ensure sweet success for your crop. Read More
Berries
September 20, 2016
How To Track Irrigation: Keep Your Eye O…
Time-tested, color-appropriate method for following water movement in plasticulture veggie crops could prove fruitful in blueberries, too. Read More
Berries
September 17, 2016
Florida Blueberry Growers Keen On Two Ne…
Low-chill, machine-harvest capabilities define these southern highbush selections. Read More
Berries
September 13, 2016
New Peach-Sized Strawberry Big On Flavor
Latest variety from Cornell University geared for growers seeking success in local food sector. Read More
Berries
September 13, 2016
New Berry Releases Hit Marks For High Yi…
ARS varieties offer growers two new alternatives to industry standards. Read More
Berries
September 2, 2016
Strawberry Grower Fined For Demanding Ki…
Operator reportedly demanded rent, payments for transportation and expenses incurred bringing workers to U.S. Read More
Berries
September 1, 2016
Pick-Your-Own Pointers From Expert Blueb…
30-year veteran Bob McConnell shares tips on variety selection, production practices, and finding your market. Read More
Berries
August 31, 2016
Tips To Prune For Big Blueberries
Leaving the proper number of canes on your highbush berry plant should ensure your consumers will leave your farm with large berries – and come back for more. Read More
Berries
August 29, 2016
New Source For High And Low Tunnel Berry…
TunnelBerries project offers resources for growers, Extension agents, and those interested in berry production under cover. Read More
Berries
August 24, 2016
Researchers Unravel Genetic Ancestry Of …
A genetic analysis conducted by New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station researchers aims to improve modern cultivation efforts of strawberry growers. Read More
Berries
August 16, 2016
Wisconsin Is The Top Cranberry Producer …
State tops country, international production for the 22nd year. Read More
Berries
August 4, 2016
Genetics Key To Keeping Strawberry Growe…
Savings to the tune of $30 million a year would come with a solution to angular leaf spot. Read More
Berries
July 27, 2016
Bird Damage Plagues Most Fruit Growers
There’s no silver bullet, but here are several techniques to annoy and deter birds. Read More
Berries
July 26, 2016
Wish Farms Commits $100K To Food Safety …
Central Florida berry operation will donate $20,000 annually over the next five years to fund various research projects backed by the Center for Produce Safety. Read More
Berries
July 12, 2016
Automated Strawberry Picker: One Step Cl…
Company receives U.S. Patent approval for continuous picking wheel on the machine. Read More
[gravityform id="62" title="false" description="false"]