15 Apr 2023

Turkish blueberry production and export showcase at Macfrut 2023


"Trends in the production and consumption of blueberries are increasing year by year all over the world. At present, blueberry has become very popular in Turkey due to its large number of phytochemicals, including abundant anthocyanin pigments, of great interest to consumer health and the huge expansion of cultivation to cover these demands but also that of Asian or eastern markets." Thus Ebru Kafkas professor at the Cukurova University of Adana in Turkey, one of the world's leading experts on blueberry, among the speakers at the Symposium in the upcoming edition of Macfrut that will host International Blueberry Days.


"According to the results of epidemiological studies, regular, moderate intake of blueberries reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease, death, and type 2 diabetes and improved weight maintenance and neuroprotection," Ebru Kafkas continued. "These findings are supported by biomarker-based evidence from human clinical trials. blueberries can be consumed either fresh or processed. However, domestically produced blueberries are mainly used for fresh fruit sales rather than for processing. Only about one-third to one-quarter of the total production is used for jams and, on a small scale, for juices."


The lecturer then broadened her gaze to Turkey. "It is one of the newest producer countries of blueberries and its scientific studies and commercial cultivation were recommended by the leadership of Professor Huseyin Celik in 1996, who played an important role in the development of blueberries cultivation in Turkey.

The first planting of blueberries was established by Osman Yildiz and the first plants were imported from Poland. At that time Professor Huseyin Celik did many adaptation trials using blueberries Northern Highbush at higher altitudes than the Black Sea region, where pH levels were low. The blueberries are grown commercially along the east-west region of the Black Sea region, some local areas of Marmara, and the central part of Anatolia, adopting a raised-bed field cultivation system.


Lately, blueberry has been initiated for commercial cultivation in the western part of the Black Sea, the Aegean, the Mediterranean and eastern Turkey using varieties of blueberries in the different types Northern Highbush, Southern Highbush and Rabbiteye. Turks prefer fresh, large and sweet varieties of blueberries ."

Ebru Kafkas will be one of the featured speakers animating the stage at the symposium that will open International Blueberry Days on Wednesday, May 3, 2023, the event that will make Macfrut the global center of knowledge and relationships around blueberry.

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