Many consumers believe that canned fruit and veggies are not as nutritious as their freshly-picked counterparts. However, a study published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture shows that in the case of peaches, the canned variety has just as many, if not more, nutritional benefits as fresh peaches.
The researchers analyzed fresh freestone peaches, fresh cling peaches, and canned cling peaches for vitamins A, C, and E, folate, antioxidants, total phenolics, and total carotenoids to assess how these nutrients were affected by the canning process and whether storage further changed these components. The researchers found that the canned cling peaches actually contained significantly higher amounts of vitamin C, antioxidants, and folate when compared to fresh freestone peaches. They also found there were no statistically significant changes in nutrient content during storage for three months.
Therefore, the researchers concluded that the nutritional content of canned peaches is comparable to that of fresh peaches. There were no statistically significant decreases in those nutritional parameters measured in this study between fresh freestone peaches and canned cling peaches. Vitamins A and E along with total carotenoids decrease immediately upon processing, but appear to stabilize after the processing step, showing minimal additional changes upon storage for three months. “This study shows that canned peaches can provide comparable nutrient levels to the consumer as fresh peaches, meaning that consumers can enjoy peaches year round without worrying about loss of nutrients in their diet,” concluded the authors.