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German TV program investigates frozen berries

Frozen berries are a well loved ingredient for fresh desserts, fruity milkshakes and delicious cakes. Mixes of raspberries, brambles, redcurrants, strawberries and blue berries are often offered. Pictures on the packages show lovely fresh fruits, but what is the quality really like? The German  TV-programma 'Servicezeit' tested this by having six random packages of frozen berries from supermarkets and discounters researched.

The laboratory analysis shows that all six samples contain moulds and yeasts, of which the values were higher in two berry mixes. For micro biologist Dr. Jacqueline Schorr this result comes as no surprise: "Moulds and yeasts are present in nature, and in large amounts. The berries are from nature. That's why there are moulds and yeasts on the berries." But the values are no cause for concern, declares Dr. Schorr, because the amounts found are all below the limits set by the 'Deutsche Gesellschaft für Hygiene und Mikrobiologie' (DGHM) for such foods.

Five of the six berry mixes which partook in the test contained traces of crop protection substances. A few products even contained traces of various substances (Rewe's frozen berries and 'Gut & Günstig' by Edeka). But the analysed amounts were all under the legal maximum limit. All products could be consumed without objection.
The research also showed that the researched frozen berries contained a lot less vitamin C than fresh berries. The berry mix by Rewe came out on top in the aspect with 31 milligrams of vitamin C per 100 grams. Fresh berries usually contain between 50 and 100 milligrams of vitamin C. Only one of the six tested products had a convincing flavour, the frozen berries of the brand FROSTA. But this quality has its price, because the FROSTA frozen berries cost three times as much per 100 grams than the two cheapest tested products.



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