Canned blueberries may be nutritionally better than fresh or frozen varieties, according to a recent study.

The study, commissioned by the Canned Food Alliance with the Oregon Health Sciences University and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), was carried out to determine the affect of commercial canning on the flavonoid content of blueberries compared with fresh blueberries.

It found that the antioxidant level and flavonoid activity in canned blueberries was actually higher than that of fresh and frozen blueberries. Antioxidants are believed to help prevent some cancers.

“Not only did this study prove that commercial canning does not diminish the levels of any flavonoid measured, it actually increases the abundance of some antioxidants,” said Dr. Daniel Hatton, associate professor at OHSU.

“Since canned fruit is processed immediately after harvest, canned blueberries offer a year-round source of antioxidants with higher levels than fresh or frozen blueberries,” he added.