Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Great Com-Pear-ison Results!

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!


Joy said...

Guilt! I have Guilt! =) Just last night we had canned pears in 'light syrup' with our dinner. Okay, I'll need to slice up fresh pears next time instead of pouring the yummy fruit out of the can. I wonder what the kiddo's reaction will be?

Marcie Barnes said...

Hi Joy! You know, I love canned pears esp. with cottage cheese. They are still a great alternative to say, cake. I just don't like the claim that they have the "same nutrients". I had to learn this: if you buy green pears they need to turn yellow to be ripe. Peel & dice them and they are sweet and yummy just like canned. Thanks for reading :)

Another tip: Keep them at room temperature until yellow, and then refrigerate them if you can't use them right away after they ripen. They will be nice and juicy for several days more.

kimberly said...

The pear is useful in weight loss diets, including food, fiber maintains its fullness and cleanses the body, also have many vitamin and potassium. SO the pear is one of the fruits with more properties and is very easy to find it. Just go at supermarket and you will have varieties to shoose from.

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