From waste to taste: Leaf extract extends blueberry shelf life
CORVALLIS, Ore. - Yanyun Zhao discovered a way to coat blueberries that gives them a longer shelf-life and makes them more nutritional.
The Oregon State Food and Science professor discovered a way to extract antioxidants from blueberry leaves, which are usually wasted.
Many hours were spent trying to figure out the perfect time to pick the leaves in order to extract the highest levels of antioxidants.
Most blueberries found in stores are unwashed because rinsing them would remove their natural waxy coating.
Zhao's method would wash the berries and then coat them so they would be prepared ready-to-eat and keep the additional antioxidants added from the edible coating.
In addition to consumers seeing a nutritional benefit from the coating, retailers will see the biggest benefit.
The coating will preserve the berries allowing retailers to keep fresh fruit in the stores much longer said Zhao.
At this time it's unknown when the edible coated blueberries will be in supermarkets.