Ingredients of All-Natural Blueberries

There are now 20 graphics on my to-do list. I’ll probably make about 5 of them, and only one or two of those will be any good.😛 (Making graphics is a bit like taking photographs—you take 1000 photos on holiday, delete 500 and put no more than 6 on your wall.)

The Table of Esters and Their Smells did surprisingly well. It got over 2,000 downloads on its first day.🙂

The graphic below is a follow-up to Ingredients of an All-Natural Banana. To make these graphics, I calculated the percentage composition of all the interesting ingredients and wrote an “ingredients” label for each fruit using E-numbers where they exist. Anthocynanins, which are said to give blueberries their “superfood” status, are also known as E163, for example.

As a Chemistry teacher, I want to erode the fear that many people have of “chemicals”, and demonstrate that nature evolves compounds, mechanisms and structures far more complicated and unpredictable than anything we can produce in the lab. Enjoy!

Ingredients of All-Natural Blueberries POSTER
Click to view large JPEG

I like the “fresh air” at the end. Nitrogen is E941, Oxygen is E948 and Carbon Dioxide is E290. (Argon, which comprises about 1% of the air we breathe, also has its own E-number: E938.) Thousands of minority ingredients including DNA have been omitted for brevity’s sake.

Sources

32 thoughts on “Ingredients of All-Natural Blueberries

      1. I ate a lot of Tomatoes growing up in US of A. Never hurt Da was ahead of his time no pesticides used peppers in between and other plants seemed to work , DNA is is all living things or even dead , i thought . I am just a person trying to learn more all the time . I do know that the riper the Banana more glucose and if you get one that is just been picked sometimes scraping it after peeling helps, especially if one is sick. Just a Grandmother who use to do all my own preserving of food . Plus i worked full time was nice though.

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  1. I love these, but in the blueberries there are two E-numbers listed that have no E-number, only an INS number (1510 and 467), as they are not approved in the EU. Also, BHT (Butylated Hydroxy Toluene) and Methylparaben are extremely unlikely, as these are purely synthetic, as are actually the E460-series, with the exception of Cellulose of course. So maybe you should adjust these…

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  2. A few quick thoughts:
    Congratulations on an excellent execution of a clever idea.
    Would you consider providing references for these figures?
    You have a mixed up link in this post (“all-natural banana” goes to “esters and their smells”).

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    1. Thanks for pointing that out! I’ve corrected the link. And the references are: (1) nutritiondata.self.com for the fats, carbohydrates, water, amino acids and ash; (2) botany books for the colours and preservatives; and (3) peer-reviewed journal articles of GC/MS analyses for the flavour compounds at the end. I converted any applicable compounds into their E-number names using food.gov.uk.

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      1. Thank you for getting back to me. My initial thought is that a footnote at the end of these posts with a list of references would be nice, but I suppose it’s not necessary. Anyway, keep up the good work!

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  3. Reblogged this on T. J. Kuhn | GxP Zone and commented:
    As a scientist, I find it troubling when people go on about not wanting chemicals in their food. *There’s chemicals in everything….You are made of chemicals!* Well this guy went through the trouble of making a label of all ingredients found in a blueberry. Pretty telling. ~TJK

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  4. Please forgive my chemistry ignorance… which of the blueberry references is the source for the methylparaben component? I’m trying to find a definitive source for blueberries containing this paraben and am coming up empty. I’ve spent some time on PubChem and learned to look for “Methyl p-hydroxybenzoate” as well, but still cannot find anything.

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