Did you ever wonder how to know 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 will be able to easily evaluate and compare different blueberry powders, and choose the best for you.
Wild vs. cultivated (farmed)
The quality of a product, especially in food, ultimately boils down to the quality of the ingredients used; and blueberry powder is not any different. One of the most critical things to understand is that not all blueberries are the same. In fact, 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 thus healthiest blueberries are the ones growing in the wild Arctic forests, also called bilberries. These blueberries have about four times higher content in antioxidants (i.e., anthocyanins) than cultivated berries (read more here). If you want to have a true superfood, go for a blueberry powder that comes from wild berries.
Recommendation: Go for a wild blueberry powder.
Another important point to pay attention to is how the blueberry powder was processed. In general, the blueberry powder is made by drying the fresh berries and powdering them. However, there are different drying methods, which makes 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. In addition, the color, taste, and fragrance of the berries are also altered when using the heat-drying method. On the other hand, there is the freeze-drying method, which is considered the best and maintains the characteristics and unique nutritional value of blueberries to the maximum possible. If you are interested in the processing methods, read our blog on how is what is freeze-dried blueberry powder.
Recommendation: Go for freeze-dried blueberry powder.
Made of whole berries vs. parts of berries
To make blueberry powder, you can either use the whole berry that includes the skin, flesh, and seeds, or just parts of it such as the flesh only or the juice. It is important to know that the best blueberry powders are made of the whole blueberries and not blueberry extracts or parts of the whole berry. The reason is that most of the 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 that comes from whole berries instead of part of it.
Recommendation: Go for blueberry powder made from whole berries.
Country of origin
Would you rather enjoy blueberries that grow in areas known for their clean and unpolluted nature, or from areas known for their heavy industry and polluted air, soil, and waters?
While it may sometimes be difficult to know where the blueberries came from and under what conditions they were growing, we recommend that you buy products that come from countries you trust that their nature is clean and unpolluted, such as Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Canada. It is known that berries that come from countries like China, India, Poland, and other countries with heavy industry and high air pollution, are more likely to be polluted.
In addition, berries that grow in the Northern countries (e.g., Finland, Sweden, Canada) have a much higher nutritional value than berries from other countries because of their unique climate. The cool temperatures and the long summer days under the Arctic sun provide the ideal conditions for blueberries to produce much higher concentrations of antioxidants and other nutrients. This is why these berries are darker in color, have much more intense taste, and are smaller in size.
Recommendation: Go for blueberry powder from countries known for their clean environment and that has a cool climate such as Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Canada.
Organic vs. conventional
Organic products have gained a lot of popularity in recent years. However, it is important to understand what organic actually 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 really apply, or it is not necessary. Firstly, the berries are not farmed but have been growing wild in their natural environment in the forest. Secondly, pesticides are never used when a product grows wild in nature, nor does a fertilizer is used as the forest provides the best natural fertilizers. Thus, having 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.
When buying blueberry powder made of farmed blueberries, organic is a safer and cleaner option. When buying a wild product, however, choosing a country of origin known for its clean environment is your go-to option.
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.
Ingredients – 100% berries vs. something added
The ingredient list of a blueberry powder may reveal a lot about its quality. Many products in the market use preservatives, added sugars, sweeteners, or colorants, which is a sign of lower quality blueberry powder. These additives are typically used 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 and nothing else. 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 that is 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.
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 be an indication of low-quality blueberries used, an old product, or a low-quality processing method. Don’t go for the cheapest option, 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 quality of the blueberry powder 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. If you find a very cheap blueberry powder, 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. Another reason why a blueberry powder is more expensive than others is that they are coming from countries with unpolluted environments, they have an organic certification, or they are made of wild berries. All these factors are important to ensure the best quality of your product, but they come at a higher cost. In conclusion, when it comes to blueberry powders, a lower price means lower quality and therefore 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 weight 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 times 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 extremely passionate about blueberry powder and we are proud of offering the highest possible quality in the market! That is a bold statement, but we really believe it.
Before launching Arctic Flavors, we spent a full year researching and tasting different berry powders to really understand what differentiates best quality powders from the rest. You would be surprised about how much difference there is in quality between different products.
We did all the work for you and selected the highest quality of 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 the method of freeze-drying. We hope you will love it as much as we do! If you are interested in adding this powder in your nutrition, please visit our Arctic Flavors Online Shop.
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