Blueberries, besides having commonly-recognized taste properties, are also a valuable source of health-promoting bioactive compounds. For several decades, blueberries have gained in popularity all over the world, and recent years have seen not only an increase in fresh consumption, but also in the importance of blueberries for the processing industry. Blueberry processing mostly consists of freezing and juicing. Recently, more attention has been drawn to dewatering and drying, which are promising areas for developing novel blueberry products. Processing affects each biologically-active compound in a different way, and it is still unknown what changes those compounds undergo at the molecular level after the application of different processing technologies. This work presents the most recent state of knowledge about the pre-treatment and processing methods applied to blueberries and their influence on the content of biologically-active compounds. The presentation of methods is preceded by a brief overview of the characteristics of the blueberry species, a description of the chemical composition of the fruit and a short note about the main growing areas, production volumes and the management of fruit crops.
Keywords: Vaccinium ssp.; antioxidants; drying; maturity; polyphenols processing; quality; storage.