By Marcie Barnes
(This is a follow up post to my research proposal, which is posted here.)
The results of my great compearison (sorry, couldn’t resist) are in – here’s a look at the nutritional differences between fresh pears and canned. For this study I used the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference to compare one cup of fresh pear cubes with one cup of canned pear halves (in light syrup). It’s worth mentioning here that the added syrup found in canned fruits makes a significant calorie difference. In this case, a cup of canned pears has nearly twice as much sugar and 65% more carbs than fresh.
Now, on to the nutrients. Most sources I found cited pears as a good source for potassium and vitamin C. It seems that all of the minerals found in pears (except fluoride) were still evident in the canned, with about an 8% reduction in quantity. (Potassium itself was reduced by 13% in the canning process). Another item of note is that you will consume over six times as much sodium by choosing canned pears.
Sadly, the vitamins did not fare so well. There are 6.8 milligrams of Vitamin C in a cup of fresh pears as opposed to only 1.8 mg in the canned equivalent – meaning you get over three and a half times more vitamin C by eating a fresh pear! Other items with a significant decrease are: Vitamin A (was completely destroyed by the canning process), Vitamin E, Vitamin K, total folate, and Beta Carotene. Overall, you get nearly five times more vitamins (in weight) by choosing a fresh pear!
Based on my findings, I am going to look into the other ingredients in traditional fruit cocktail as well so I can tell Del Monte exactly how inaccurate their marketing claim is…stay tuned!