For people who love peaches and patiently wait each year for the summer’s bounty of sweet, juicy, and plump beauties, the wait is over. A new study published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture finds that canned peaches (yes, from the grocery store canned food aisle) are as loaded with nutrients as their fresh brethren. And in some cases, they pack an even more nutritional punch.
Nutrients are higher, says Christine Bruhn, a food scientist at the University of California, Davis, because the “canning process opens the cell walls of the fruit’s flesh, and it makes nutrients such as vitamin A more readily available to our body.” She says it’s the same reason there tends to be higher levels of lycopene in tomato sauce compared with fresh tomatoes.
Though the study was partially funded by the California cling peach industry (the type of peaches used in canned peaches), so the industry has every reason to exploit the findings.
But be assured, says researcher Bob Durst of Oregon State University’s Linus Pauling Institute, the lead author of the research: The peach growers had no say in how the test was carried out.
The bottom line is that canned food isn’t as popular as fresh, mostly because the taste and texture is so different. But nutritionally speaking, canned and fresh are very similar. If you can’t get fresh fruits or vegetables for any reason, then canned is certainly a good alternative.