[NAFEX] Medicinal aspects of "jelly"

Michael Dossett phainopepla at yahoo.com
Tue Mar 10 18:45:52 EDT 2009

Well, blueberries aren't fully dark throughout, their pigments are concentrated in the skin (which incidentally is why black raspberry and even some blackberries are higher in anthocyanin concentration).  I'm not sure how they are processed for jams and jellies but I have a feeling they leave them as is.  I suppose they may add additional color but I don't think they bleach them first.  Perhaps one reason why is with strawberries the fruit is cut up so you would end up with some all white pieces and some pieces that are half white and half colored.  You don't typically see that with blueberry jams.  The fruit is often whole or mashed, and when mashed the dark pigments tend to bleed most of it pretty dark in a hurry.  Anyone else know about how blueberries are processed for jam commercially?
As for raspberries, they aren't typically bleached and died, instead relying on the natural color.  This is one reason why darker raspberries (such as 'Willamette') have almost always been favored for the processing market, and this is an important consideration that all three breeding programs here in the Pacific Northwest factor in when evaluating red raspberries.  The lighter and brigher colored berries are more attractive to consumers on the fresh market while the darker cultivars tend to be used more for processing.  Of course there are other factors too, for example how easily a berry machine harvests will determine whether it has to be hand-picked (usually fresh market sales where the higher price can offset the increased cost of labor and because machine harvested berries are too bruised and soft for fresh market sales) or can be machine harvested (processed for a lower price but much lower cost as well), but color of both whole fruit and
 puree is something we look at very closely in advanced selections for raspberry.
Michael Dossett Corvallis, Oregon www.Mdossettphoto.com phainopepla at yahoo.com

--- On Tue, 3/10/09, Michael Phillips <michael at herbsandapples.com> wrote:

From: Michael Phillips <michael at herbsandapples.com>
Subject: [NAFEX] Medicinal aspects of "jelly"
To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
Date: Tuesday, March 10, 2009, 2:06 PM

Hi all,

A message like Michael Dosset's (copied below) sure gets a guy thinking. I'd
love to generate some feedback discussion here about a topic dear to my
heart: the medicinal attributes of fruit. Jelly, of course, being one of the
ways we preserve our berries etc. for later use throughout the winter

The dark-colored pigments of berries and apples and probably plums and
definitely cherries exist in part because of anthocyanin compounds. Simple
chemistry lesson here: dark pigments equal good medicine. 

If indeed commercial jelly processing -- the example pointed out below
referencing strawberries in particular -- involves bleaching the fruit
slurry to then replenish "color" with food dyes. . . we can only conclude
that commercial jellies are useless at best nutritionally, no? As in sugar,
perhaps some more sugar to up the Brix (as Jim Fruth explained), and some
more sugar again to please the Kool-aid palate. What an incredible way to
"insure" that a fruit foodstuff is absolutely useless from a health
perspective. Taking away Nature's pigments suggests that modern human
society is so removed from basic biological reality to be nonsensical.

Michael and everyone: Would this be true for fully-dark-throughout fruits
like blueberries and raspberries too? 

Michael Phillips
Heartsong Farm Healing Herbs
859 Lost Nation Road
Groveton, NH 03582

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Michael Dossett
To: North American Fruit Explorers
Sent: Monday, March 09, 2009 12:35 PM
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Jam too sweet?

Unfortunately, bleaching the strawberries and then adding red dye to make
them an even color is an all too common practice.  Not all the jam companies
do this, but many if not most do.  I think part of it depends on where the
berry comes from and what variety it is too.  A lot of the jam processors
use California strawberries.  The growers there make their real money on the
berries from the first and second pick for the fresh market because of their
size.  I can't remember what the price was that way but I want to say it was
around 75 cents a pound.  The tertiary and quaternary berries on each raceme
are smaller and are almost worthless to them so they dump them on the
processing market for around 19 cents a pound just to get a little something
for them.  A lot of the jam and yogurt etc. processors use these berries
because of the cost.

Oregon and Washington strawberries, in part because of climate and in part
because of genetics, have good color throughout the fruit, i.e. they aren't
white inside like California ones.  They are also darker red than the
strawberries from the eastern half of the US.  A few processors still like
these berries in part because of flavor but also in part because of the
color so they don't have to add the dyes etc.  Unfortunately because of a
shorter season and higher labor costs our growers can barely make a go of it
at 50 cents a pound for a processing berry which means that the acreage here
in the Pacific Northwest has been steadily shrinking.  It is basically
because of the few remaining processors here that the strawberry breeding
programs in Oregon and Washington place a large emphasis on selecting for
fruit color both internally and externally before a new variety gets

Michael Dossett Corvallis, Oregon 

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