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Ask Tufts Experts September 2015 Issue

Q. It’s not always convenient to eat fresh blueberries. How do frozen and dried blueberries compare in nutrition and brain benefits?

A. Barbara Shukitt-Hale, PhD, of Tufts’ HNRCA Neuroscience and Aging Laboratory, has researched the brain benefits of blueberries and their anthocyanin compounds. She says, “Frozen berries do not lose their potency. For dried blueberries it depends on how they were dried. High temperatures cause berries to release more anthocyanins, but then they degrade faster.” Freeze drying, which does not require heating the berries, preserves their anthocyanin content; in fact, some of the studies on blueberries and cognition have used a powder made from freeze-dried fruit.

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