Did you ever wonder how to identify which blueberry powder is the best for you? Below, we provide a list of 10 important things you should pay attention to when trying to find the best blueberry powder in the market. By following these tips, you can quickly evaluate and compare different blueberry powders and choose the best for you.
1. Wild vs. cultivated (farmed)
The quality of a product, especially in food, ultimately boils down to the quality of its ingredients; and blueberry powder is no exception. One of the most critical things to understand is that not all blueberries are the same. There are more than 30 varieties of blueberries (read more in this blog post about the difference between blueberries and bilberries).
The most nutrient-rich and healthiest blueberries are growing in the wild Arctic forests. Wild blueberries are also called bilberries. These blueberries have about four times higher content in antioxidants (i.e., anthocyanins) than conventional berries (read more here). Also, they have a higher content of other essential micronutrients that your body needs, such as fibers and vitamins. If you want to have a true superfood, go for a blueberry powder from whole wild berries.
Recommendation: Go for a wild blueberry powder.
2. Drying method
Another important point to pay attention to is how the blueberry powder is processed. In general, the blueberry powder is made by drying the fresh berries and powdering them. However, different drying methods make a big difference in the quality, taste, fragrance, and nutritional value of the blueberry powder.
Many companies use a heat-drying method that reduces the quality and nutritional value of the berries. Besides, the berries’ color, taste, and fragrance change during the heat-drying process. On the other hand, the freeze-drying method is the best because it maintains the characteristics and unique nutritional value of blueberries to the maximum. If you would like to learn more about the different processing methods, you can read our blog on how is what is freeze-dried blueberry powder.
Recommendation: Go for a freeze-dried blueberry powder.
3. Whole berries vs. parts of berries
There are two ways to make the blueberry powder. The first is when you use the whole berry that includes the skin, the flesh, and the seeds. The second way is when you use parts of the entire berry, such as the flesh or the juice only. It is important to know that the best blueberry powders are those from the whole blueberries and not blueberry extracts or parts. The main reason is that most of the antioxidants (i.e., anthocyanins) are coming from the skin, the fiber is coming from the seeds, and other nutrients such as vitamins and minerals are coming from the flesh. So if you want to maximize the nutritional value of the product you buy, choose a blueberry powder from whole berries and not from extracts.
Recommendation: Go for blueberry powder made from whole berries.
4. Country of origin
Would you rather enjoy blueberries that grow in clean environments or blueberries that grow in areas with pollution?
Sometimes, it isn’t easy to know the origin of blueberries in products. Even more difficult is to know the environment they grow in and other conditions that impact their quality. Therefore, we recommend that you buy products from countries you trust and know their nature is clean and with no pollution. Such countries are Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Canada. Blueberries grow in other countries as well, such as Chile, China, India, and Poland; however, these countries have a much heavier industry and less strict environmental protection regulations, if any at all. As a result, these countries’ environment is more likely to be polluted, which will impact the blueberry growth conditions.
Also, berries that grow in the Northern countries (e.g., Finland, Sweden, Canada) have a much higher nutritional value than berries from other countries. The main reason being the harsh climate conditions they grow in. The cold temperatures and the long summer days under the Arctic sun provide blueberries’ ideal conditions to produce much higher antioxidants and other nutrients. This is the reason why these berries are darker in color, have a much more intense taste, and are smaller in size.
Recommendation: Go for blueberry powder from countries known for their clean environment and cold climates, such as Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Canada.
5. Organic vs. conventional
Organic products are becoming more popular in recent years. Here, we explain why it is crucial to understand what organic means and when it makes a difference.
In brief, organic means that no pesticides, antibiotics, or genetically modified plants are used during farming. When buying a wild product such as blueberry powder, the organic label does not apply, or it is not necessary for several reasons. Firstly, wild berries grow in their natural environment, the forest. This is the environment they had been growing for thousands of years without any human interventions. Secondly, pesticides are never used, nor do fertilizers. The forest provides the best natural fertilizer and protection for these berries. Thus, having an organic certification adds no value in this case. In Finland, for example, all forests are classified as organic; however, because they are not farmed, they cannot get official certification, as they are wild natural forests. You can read more in our blog post wild blueberries vs organic blueberries.
In conclusion, organic is a safer and cleaner choice when buying a blueberry powder from conventional blueberries. On the other hand, when purchasing a wild product, choose a country of origin that offers clean environmental conditions.
Recommendation: If you buy wild berry powder, the country of origin is more important than organic certification. If your berry powder is made of farmed berries, go for organic.
6. Ingredients – 100% berries vs. something added
The ingredient list of a blueberry powder may reveal a lot about its quality. Many market products use preservatives, added sugars, sweeteners, or colorants, which is a sign of lower quality blueberry powder. Companies use these additives to improve the taste, color, smell, and shelf life of the lower quality products.
The best quality blueberry powders are made of 100% freeze-dried blueberries. That’s it. As mentioned above, the freeze-drying method preserves the powder in the best way and provides at least two years of shelve life for your powder. Therefore, a high-quality blueberry powder made of 100% whole berries should not need any additional preservatives or artificial enhancers for taste or flavor.
Recommendation: Go for a blueberry powder that has one ingredient only: whole blueberries.
7. Color, fragrance & taste
The best blueberry powder will have an intense dark blue or purple color without any additional artificial colorants. The fragrance of a high-quality blueberry powder is fruity, and it should smell like fresh blueberries! If you know about blueberries, just by smelling the powder, you will be able to tell about its quality immediately. If the blueberry powder doesn’t smell like much, chances are high it won’t taste like much. The tasteless blueberry powder may indicate low-quality blueberries used, an old product, or a low-quality processing method. Don’t go for the cheapest option. Instead, go for the best value option.
Recommendation: Go for a blueberry powder with a natural intense dark blue or purple color, fruity smell, and a delicious taste such as this of fresh blueberries.
The best way to package blueberry powder is in an airtight package, which does not expose the powder to light. Why? Light, especially sunlight, may change the flavor, fragrance, and color of blueberry powder. Some companies sell berry powders in transparent bags, which look nice and inviting. However, this will have an immediate impact on the blueberry powder’s quality once exposed to light.
Recommendation: Go for a blueberry powder in airtight packaging that protects the powder from the light.
We all love a good bargain, but let’s be honest, most of the time, price is an indicator of quality. Suppose you find a very cheap blueberry powder. In that case, it is likely of questionable quality, or it is mass-produced in an industrial way, which has an immediate impact on its nutritional value.
Overall, powders made from properly grown or wild blueberries will always be more expensive than mass-produced and farmed berries. A blueberry powder is more expensive than others because they are coming from countries with unpolluted environments, have an organic certification, or are made of wild berries. All these factors are important to ensure your product’s best quality, but they come at a higher cost. In conclusion, when it comes to blueberry powders, a lower price means lower quality and lower nutritional value of the product you buy.
Recommendation: Do not let price be the only factor behind your blueberry powder decision – you will regret it. Know what goes into pricing and weigh the quality of the product before making your purchase. Go for a good deal and not for a cheap deal.
Who should you trust when it comes to finding the best product in the market? People who have already tried it are usually a good starting point! If a previous customer has written a review of the product you are interested in, give it a read. Often by skimming through the review of a product, you may be convinced (or not) that this is high quality or a good value for money product.
Recommendation: Go for a blueberry powder with positive customer reviews.
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That concludes our list of 10 things to pay attention to when looking for the best blueberry powder out there. We hope you find it useful! If you wonder why we put this list together, the reason is simple. We at Arctic Flavors are incredibly passionate about blueberry powder, and we are proud of offering the highest possible quality in the market! That is a bold statement, but we believe it.
Before launching Arctic Flavors, we spent a full year researching and tasting different berry powders to understand what differentiates the best quality powders from the rest. You would be surprised about how much difference there is in quality between other products.
We did all the work for you and selected the highest quality blueberry powder out there. The only thing you need to do is trust us and try our product. We guarantee you will notice the difference in quality. Arctic Flavors wild blueberry powder comes from 100% wild berries from the forests of Finland that are made to powder with freeze-drying. We hope you will love it as much as we do! If you are interested in adding this powder to your nutrition, please visit our Arctic Flavors Online Shop.
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