July 31, 2014

FEATURED PRODUCTS: Bilberry Juice Concentrate

Bilberries are found in very acidic, nutrient-poor soils throughout the temperate and subartic regions of the world. They are closely related to American wild and cultivated blueberries and huckleberries in the genus Vaccinium. One characteristic of bilberries is that they produce single or paired berries on the bush instead of clusters, as the blueberry does.

The fruit is smaller than that of the blueberry but with a fuller taste. Bilberries are darker in color, and usually appear near black with a slight shade of purple. While the blueberry's fruit pulp is light green, the bilberry's is red or purple.

Their deep color, ranging from blue to maroon to purple-black, is key to the color compounds that provide bilberry's multitude of health benefits. Bilberry is any of several species of low-growing shrubs in the genus Vaccinium. The species most often referred to is Vaccinium myrtillus L., but there are several other closely related species.

HISTORY

Bilberries, indigenous to Northern Europe and Asia, are usually attributed to have similar health benefits as the blueberry, and thus are included today in the superfruit category. They are very difficult to grow commercially, and thus are mostly harvested as a wild berry.

Often associated with improvement of night vision, bilberries are frequently mentioned in stories of World War II RAF pilots consuming bilberry jam to sharpen vision for night missions. Although the effect of bilberry on night vision is controversial, laboratory studies have provided preliminary evidence that bilberry consumption may inhibit or reverse certain eye disorders.

Bilberries are most commonly available as industrial ingredients in the form of purees, juices, and juice concentrates, as well as certain powdered extracts for the anthocyanin contents.

HEALTH BENEFITS

Bilberries are a great fruit source for vitamins, minerals, fiber and pigment based antioxidants.

An Antioxidant Powerhouse

Bilberries contain several key antioxidant phytonutrients , like anthocyanidins, anthocyanins, phenolic acids, flavonols, tannins which help to neutralize free radical damage to the collagen matrix of cells and tissues.

These key compounds, including items like ellagic acid and kaempferol are powerful antioxidants, and also help maintain improved cardiovascular health, improved vision and gastrointestinal health.

Anthocyanins, the blue-red pigments found in bilberries, improve the integrity of support structures in the veins and entire vascular system. Anthocyanins have been shown to enhance the effects of vitamin C, improve capillary integrity, and stabilize the collagen matrix (the ground substance of all body tissues).

Encore Fruit Marketing can provide an excellent source of bilberry juice concentrate to help consumer products deliver one of the 5 A Day fruit servings.

Bilberry juice concentrate is carefully processed from fresh, bilberries to provide the essential flavor , nutrition and color, in a convenient, ready to use ingredient form. Bilberry juice concentrate is an excellent ingredient to add a superfruit serving your retail label for beverages, dairy products, sauces and other processed foods like nutrition bars and snacks.

Contact Encore Fruit Marketing today for product samples and information on bilberry juice concentrate at www.encorefruit.com or Click Here to use our convenient Contact Form.