An Oregon State University (OSU) study has concluded that nutritionally speaking, canned peaches are equivalent to their fresh counterparts.
The research findings, published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, hold that some nutrients increase during the canning process. As lycopene levels increase when tomatoes are canned, some key nutrients in fresh cling peaches are increased by the canning process.
The OSU study found that antioxidants, vitamin A, and vitamin C all increased and that folate levels in canned peaches were up 10 times compared to their fresh counterparts. According to California Cling Peach Board chair Sarb Johl, the study could potentially help peach growers and fruit processors set the record straight.
"We always knew that our canned peaches are nutritious," he said. "Now we have the science to back up our claims. This is great news for our industry and should go a long way in dispelling misperceptions about canned fruit nutrition."
The initial goal of the study was to determine the nutritional viability of canned peach products. Fresh freestone peaches, fresh cling peaches and canned cling peaches were analyzed for vitamins A, C and E, folate, antioxidants, total phenolics and total carotenoids to assess how these nutrients were affected by the canning process and whether storage further changed these components.
According to Bob Durst, OSU researcher, said that in addition to finding that canning peaches did not negatively affect nutrition, storing the fruit for a specific period of time did not lead to a vitamin drain.