Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Canning - removes vitamin C and likely many anti-oxidants

On the positive side canning has enabled fruits to be eaten outside of the season and outside of the normal geographic range. For example here in NZ we can purchase canned mangos and litchis that cannot grow in our climate. Thus we can enjoy extra fruits that wouldn't be possible.

However the down side of this is when we rely of canned foods or have canned fruit as a significant source of fruits. This is because the nutrients are destroyed in the canned process. An example of this is shown below. This is what happens to the vitamin C level in canned goods. (it also shows irradiated and frozen effects). Again clicking on the graph should make it larger. You can see that the vitamin C is massively reduced. Furthermore vitamin C is a water soluble nutrient like a large group of additional nutrients. These are called by a number of names such as bioflavonids or phytonutrients..... they make up a large proportion of the antioxidant levels in fruits. Therefore we can theorize that if vitamin C is massively reduced then the bioflavonids are also likely to be significantly effected. Hence canned food is a great treat but you should rely on locally grown fresh fruits for the majority of your fruit intake.  

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