Turns out that this is a really good question. And if you’ve never wondered about it, don’t worry, there are people who already have. Many of those little blue specs that decorate a variety of muffins, bagels, cereals and bars aren’t actual blueberries. They can simply be sugar, corn syrup and food coloring rolled into small clumps that kind of resemble berries or in some less offensive cases, they can be sugars, and some different fruit juices that can include blueberry. Either way, images of blueberries shouldn’t be gracing the packaging.
A while back, Natural News did some investigating and found many half-truths (or total lies) in blueberry snacks when they compared pictures of fresh berries from the package to what’s actually inside.
Here are a few disappointing blueberry products to look out for.
Jiffy Blueberry Muffin Mix
No blueberries in the ingredient list.
Quaker Blueberries & Cream Instant Oatmeal
Here we have some blueberry concentrate, listed after the dried figs, corn syrup solids, starch, and sugar. They’re called blueberry pieces.
Kellogg’s Special K Blueberry Bars
These feature “blueberry-flavored fruit pieces.” They’re made of cranberries blueberry juice from concentrate, sunflower oil and grape juice.
Pillsbury Blueberry Biscuits and Muffins
No blueberries at all — just sugar and food coloring.
Kellogg Mini Wheats Blueberry
No blueberries. No blueberry juice. No fruit at all.
Panera Blueberry Bagels
Somehow or another Panera’s blueberry bagels didn’t warrant the use of actual berries, while the blueberry muffins and blueberry scones did. Go figure. The “blueberry-flavored bits” contain sugar, flour, corn syrup and food coloring as well as “infused blueberries.” We can’t tell you what those actually are.
Hungry Jack Blueberry Pancake Mix
This pancake mix boasts “artificial blueberry bits” more commonly known as sugar and food coloring.
Yoplait Light Blueberry Pie Yogurt
Natural and artificial flavors, Red 40 and Blue 1 allow you to think you’re seeing and tasting real blueberries.
Brookside Dark Chocolate Acai & Blueberry
These berry sized treats are a bit better than the other products we’re listing. The centers are created from a variety of fruit concentrates and blueberry IS one of them. The juices appear to be thickened with corn syrup and sugar.
Quaker Wild Blueberry Crisps
Quaker could have really done a better job. No blueberry. No fruit juice. Just natural and artificial flavors.
Some fake blueberry flavoring is obviously better than others. At the end of the day, though, none of these blueberry products are really blueberry products. FoodFacts.com thinks this serves as a great reminder for everyone to read ingredient lists, all the time — no matter what the brand might be or what images appear on the packaging.