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Greenberries

August 1, 2012

The beginning of a blueberry!

Did you know that blueberries are green on the inside? As dumb as this might sound, I really had no idea! 

If you were like me and really had no idea, it was probably because you always ate the blueberry whole, which is what I usually do. In fact, I usually gobble down handfuls…. But today, I did something different. In the middle of my psych lecture, I pulled out a box of blueberries. While I was typing away, I began popping each berry into my mouth. But halfway through, I began to slow down and started biting the berries in half.

That was when I discovered that the inside was green. But still, I was skeptical – perhaps the berry was too ripe. Yet, one after another, they all turned out to be green.

When I got home (which was basically 5 minutes ago), I did some research, and this was what I found:

Q: Why is the blueberry blue?
A: The blueberry is a true-blue food. It derives its bold coloring form the high content of anthocyanin. Anthocyanin is a water soluble pigment that imparts colors ranging from blue to shades of red.

bullet Blueberry color is an important quality factor influencing fresh-market value and the suitability of the berries of the berries for processing. Their intense red to blue color, and high pigment content, makes them a good candidate for colorant ingredients for foods.
bullet Blueberries begin their life as a little, green berry. What happens to transform them into a plump, blue pockets of flavor?

  1. Fertilization of the ovary
  2. Flower swells rapidly for about a month and then stops.
  3. Green berry develops with no change in size.
  4. Calyx end turns purplish and rest of berry becomes translucent in appearance.
  5. Next few days a light purple color begins to develop and then deeper purple.
  6. During color change the berry volume increases rapidly.
bullet Intensity of pigmentation increases during the first six days of color change. Therefore most of the anthocyanin. is developed in the fruit during this early stage of maturation.

(Thanks to blueberry.org for that.)

Well anyway, isn’t this strange? You would expect a blueberry to also be blue on the inside (like their cousin the blackberry, which is black inside)! Who knew?! Oh blueberries!!

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