Minto, N.B. – A federal investment in wild blueberry research will help producers grow their businesses by promoting the new health benefits of the popular fruit.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is contributing $1.2 million toward blueberry research in the Atlantic provinces.
Consumers are drawn to the delicate fruit, known as a superfruit because it’s rich in antioxidants and nutrients.
The investment is meant to help discover new health benefits and new economic opportunities for the industry by bringing together leaders in agricultural and medical research.
The CBC.ca reports that New Brunswick’s BioAtlantech and Nova Scotia’s Atlantic Food and Horticulture Research Centre will be doing clinical trials.
Researchers say they’ll be looking at the impact of degenerative diseases, which are common among aging populations.
The Wild Blueberry Association of North America says that being able to prove health benefits would boost the worldwide demand for wild blueberries. And answer questions consumers might have, such as how many to eat to maximize the fruit’s benefits, reports CBC.ca.
The federal government says the project will study the health benefits of blueberries and provide the tools to expand wild blueberry biomedical research in the international scientific community.
This project will increase global demand for wild blueberries by developing new and improved products and processing technology leading to a range of commercial opportunities for wild blueberries in the health sector.