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Chilling Strawberries May Dramatically Lower Nutritional Value

Where you store your strawberries might determine how many nutrients you take in when you eat it. A recent study found that chilling strawberries could bring down their total antioxidant capacity (TAC), vitamin C, and total phenolic content (TPC) by as much as 92%.

TPC is a way to measure polyphenols, which are chemicals with antioxidant properties.

The researchers measured vitamin C, TAC and TPC in fresh, chilled, and freeze-dried strawberries. They found that freeze-drying did not effect the nutritional content of the strawberries but that the refrigerated fruits had a 92% drop in the antioxidants in particular.

Specifically, TPC was reduced by 82%, vitamin C by 19% and TAC by 23%, when compared with fresh fruits. However, when the researchers freeze-dried lime, orange, blackcurrant, broccoli, and red bell pepper, they found that there was no effect on antioxidants, TPC or vitamin C levels.

Researchers from Sheffield Hallam Univeristy in the United Kingdom conducted the study. It was published in the December 2013 issue of Food Manufacture.

Fruit is usually freeze dried using a vacuum that removes all of the water from the fruit. Because the basic structure of the fruit stays intact, most of the nutrients are left behind when the water is removed.

A huge benefit of freeze dried fruit is that it doesn’t spoil like fresh fruit can, which means you can carry it around with you as a delicious, nutritious snack. Try adding it to breakfast cereal or yogurt if you’re looking for another way to add more fruit to your diet. However, be careful to check the packaging of anything you buy to make sure that not too many artificial preservatives or sugars are added.

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