Fruit distributor Sun Belle has stressed the healthful properties blackberries offer, citing recent research from the University of Oslo, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which identified blackberries as containing the most antioxidants per serving of any of 1,500 foods tested by researchers.

The company also referred to another study, conducted by scientists from USDA's Agricultural Research Service and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and published in The Journal of Biological Chemistry, which found that a compound in fresh blackberries arrested the development of skin tumours, reduced the growth of lung cancer cells and inhibited their spread to other organs.

Sun Belle said that blackberries are available in the US throughout the year, reported that ample supplies of Tupi variety blackberries will be reaching US supermarket shelves this spring, well in advance of home-grown blackberries in July and August.

The Chicago-based company, which specialises in distributing and marketing blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and redcurrants, also pointed out that the berry farms in Michoacan, Mexico produce blackberries from October through to mid-June, which means Americans can enjoy a year-round fresh supply of what is increasingly being shown to be a very healthy food.