Happy Blueberry Month!
Theblueberry harvest is underway across the nation! It is time to celebrate National Blueberry Month. Did you realize that highbush blueberries are produced in 32 states of the USA. Also, two Canadian provinces. The production regions include:
>Midwest (Michigan and Indiana)
>East (New Jersey)
>South (Arkansas, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi and Texas.
>West (California, Oregon, Washington.
The fresh harvest begins in Florida in March and ends in the Pacific northwest in October. The peak of the season is in June through August. This is when much of the frozen or “processed” blueberries are handled.
US production is categorized into three areas: fresh, processed and further processed.
Fresh blueberriesare available 365 days a year in the USA now. Imports from Mexico Southern Hemisphere fill the gaps in USA production windows. Most fresh blueberries are marketed in plastic “clamshells” and go to the consumer market. But, now more and more companies are integrating fresh blueberries into foodservice with even fast food giants offering fresh blueberries!
Frozen blueberries are used throughout the food industry and typically consist of around half of production. this includes individually quick frozen blueberries, case frozen and straight pack blueberries. Each product has a niche and this year frozen blueberries are in plentiful supply.
Further Processed blueberries are being developed each year that match the needs of the food industry. Purees, juices juice concentrates work in dairy and juice applications. Dehydrated blueberries come in all sorts of shelf-stable forms. These include sugar infused, juice infused, freeze dry and microwave dried blueberries. Blueberries are also available in powders, fibers and bit forms.