The US Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) in association with International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM), hosted USA Blueberry Nutritional and Health Seminar. This hybrid Seminar was addressed by Alicia Adler, VP, Global Business Development, USHBC, Chef Sanjay Kak, Culinary Director, IIHM Hotel Schools, Dr Leslie Wada, Senior Director, Nutrition and Health Research, USHBC, Dr R Kavitha Reddy, Owner, Sreya Nutrition and Director – Nutrition Communications, NutriTech Consulting Services and Raj Kapoor, India Representative, USHBC.
The discussion highlighted that the USA blueberries are good quality and offer many nutritional and health benefits. Blueberries are easily accessible and provide key vitamins and minerals. They are a good source of fiber (3.6 grams per serving), which helps support heart health and digestive health. Blueberries are a good source of vitamin C (16% DV per serving), an antioxidant that helps support a healthy immune system and protect cells from free radical damage.
The dignitaries further explained that the Blueberries contribute essential nutrients like vitamin K to support bone metabolism and regulate blood clotting and manganese to help convert protein, carbohydrates, and fat into energy.
Blueberries make an easy, tasty, and nutrient‐rich addition to your favourite meals and recipes. They can be included in breakfast added to muesli or porridge or they can be added to a smoothie or they can be part of a yummy dessert such as a blueberry cheese cake or they can just be eaten as such for a snack.
Blueberries have a unique flavor and are available in diverse forms, including fresh, frozen, dried, puree, powder, canned and juice concentrate. Because of their versatility blueberries can be added in innumerable recipes. Not only tasty but blueberries are a healthy addition to our diet.
USHBC, a federal research and promotion program representing blueberry growers, marketers, and importers in the United States, who work together to research, innovate, and promote blueberries, is planning to expand majorly in India. And the focus will stay more on frozen and dry blueberries, not just because these have a great shelf-life but also because these generate a great employment opportunity in processing blueberry based products
The USHBC says, "You see sending frozen or dried blueberries to India means generating not just employment in our own food processing industry but also the bakery, confectionery, and other related industries in India. The dried and frozen variants are processed for many end-use products like jam, fruit filling, and purée for dairy, baking, and confectionery. U.S. highbush blueberry growers alone create and sustain more than 44,535 full-time equivalent jobs each year in the US alone not just in the farming sector but related sectors. So imagine what job-creation impact it can have in India, which has more than a 1.3billion people but a shrinking economy owing to the drastic effect of the pandemic."