While blueberries have blue or purple skin, the color of the inside flesh can be very different. Do you remember what color the inside was the last time you bit a blueberry? Chances are high it was not blue or purple. What was it then? Green, yellow, or white?
While the skin of the blueberries is typically dark blue or dark purple, the inside can have various colors. In this blog post, we explain what the typical colors of the blueberry flesh are, and explain why this color varies.
Blue, purple, green, yellow, white, what?
To understand the different colors of blueberries, it’s important to know that in fact, there are over 30 varieties of blueberries! The ones typically sold in supermarkets are cultivated blueberries (also known as the highbush blueberries) that grow in different parts of the world.
Despite the fact that cultivated blueberries have blue/purple skin, their flesh is usually light green, light yellow, or white. The reason is that cultivated blueberries have a lower amount of anthocyanins, the antioxidant that gives the fruit its blue/purple color. Studies have shown that the amount of antioxidants in blueberries is affected by several factors such as the cultivation method, composition of the soil, use of pesticides and fertilizers, as well as genetic diversity.
On the other hand, there is a variety of lowbush blueberries that have a dark blue or purple inside out. These blueberries are grown wild in Northern European forests and are also known as bilberries. The inside color of wild blueberries is as dark as their skin and is so intense that just a few berries can give a beautiful color to your desserts, smoothies, pastries, or teeth. If interested, you can read more about the differences between wild bilberries and cultivated blueberries.
What gives wild blueberries their color?
Blueberries have high amounts of anthocyanins, which are a group of powerful and extremely beneficial antioxidants for human health. The role of anthocyanins is to absorb the ultraviolet (UV) light and create this dark blue/purple unique color, which will attract bees for pollination. The longer the berries are under the sun, the higher the amount of anthocyanins they will have, and therefore the darker the color of the berry, inside out, will be.
The unique summer conditions of Arctic Circle where the sun is up during the night too, make wild Nordic blueberries unique both in color and in the amount of anthocyanins they have. Nordic blueberries are often called the true superfood of the Arctic, and there is a good reason for this. Read more about antioxidants and their importance in our blog post Antioxidants: what they are and why they are important.
Adding some Arctic wild blueberry powder is a great way to boost your meals & snacks with super-healthy antioxidants, natural fiber & vitamins! For some inspiration, visit our blog on How to use blueberry powder – Top 10 ways. Arctic Flavors freeze-dried blueberry powder is made of 100% wild blueberries from Finland – no preservatives, sugar, or colorants added. A spoonful of this superfood powder equals a handful of fresh wild blueberries.
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