Impact of processing on the bioavailability and vascular effects of blueberry (poly)phenols

Ana Maria Rodriguez Mateos, Raquel Del Pino-García, Trevor W George, Alberto Vidal-Diez, Christian Heiss, Jeremy P E Spencer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)


SCOPE: Blueberries are a rich source of flavonoids and phenolic acids. Currently, little information is available regarding the impact of processing on the bioavailability and the bioactivity of blueberry (poly)phenols.

METHODS AND RESULTS: In a randomized, controlled crossover trial, ten healthy volunteers consumed (a) blueberry-containing baked products, (b) an unprocessed blueberry drink containing the same amount of freeze-dried blueberry powder as used in the baked products, and (c) matched control baked products. Endothelial function was measured as flow-mediated dilation (FMD) and plasma samples taken at baseline and at 1, 2, 4, and 6 h postconsumption. Although processing did not significantly change the total (poly)phenolic amount, the processed products contained significantly less anthocyanins (-42%), more chlorogenic acid (23%), no flavanol nonamers or decamers, and significantly more flavanol dimers and trimers (36% and 28%, respectively). FMD increased after 1, 2, and 6 h consumption of the baked products to a similar degree as the unprocessed blueberries, despite significant differences in the levels of individual plasma metabolites. No changes were observed after the consumption of the control product.

CONCLUSION: Careful processing can preserve important biological activities of blueberries despite changing the blueberry (poly)phenol composition and plasma metabolite profile.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1952-61
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Nutrition & Food Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Beverages
  • Blueberry Plant
  • Brachial Artery
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Endothelium, Vascular
  • Fast Foods
  • Flavonoids
  • Food Handling
  • Freeze Drying
  • Fruit
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Polyphenols
  • Postprandial Period
  • Vasodilation
  • Young Adult


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