New Study Confirms Canned, Fresh and Frozen Fruits and Vegetables All Provide Nutrients Essential for a Healthy Diet

PITTSBURGH – March 14, 2007 – A study from the University of California – Davis (UC Davis) published today in the online version of the Journal of Science of Food and Agriculture confirms that canned, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables provide nutrients needed for a healthy diet, and exclusively consuming fresh fruits and vegetables ignores the nutritional benefits provided by canned products.     

“Common perceptions include the notion that fresh is always best,” says Christine M. Bruhn, Ph.D., Department of Food Science and Technology, University of California Davis.  “This study shows us, however, that eating a variety of fruits and vegetables in all forms are important to a healthy diet.”

To attain a full balance of nutrients, findings from this research show that canned foods can be an important part of the mix when it comes to getting more nutrients, variety and taste satisfaction.  Research also shows that how much a fruit and vegetable can contribute nutritionally to a diet depends on its processing method. 

Research shows that canned, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables can all lose nutrients during processing and storage, as a result of exposure to heat and air.  In some cases, there appears to be a higher nutrient content in canned foods, such as increased carotenoids in canned vegetables – due to the heat in the canning process.

To get the most nutrients from fruits and vegetables, consider the following suggestions:

Store fresh fruits and vegetables without a peel in cooler temperatures, such as the refrigerator.  If they will not be used within three days, choose frozen or canned.

During cooking and storage, avoid exposing fruits and vegetables to unnecessary heat and air.  Use a cover when cooking, and choose steaming or microwaving over boiling.  Store cut fruits and vegetables in a sealed container or plastic wrap.

Choose canned, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables to get a mix of essential nutrients.

The study, funded by the Canned Food Alliance, reviewed recent published research on the nutritional comparisons of canned, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables.

“This research validates our mission to educate consumers that canned foods are healthy and bring necessary nutrients to the table,” says Rich Tavoletti, director, the Canned Food Alliance.  “It’s no surprise to us that canned food is an important part of the nation’s nutrition, which makes everyday healthful eating easy and accessible for everyone, everywhere.”

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