Wild Blueberry Association of North America to exhibit at 2024 International Congress of Nutrition and Dietetics in Toronto

June 4, 2024

Toronto ON. Wild blueberry growers, producers and members of the Wild Blueberry Association of North America (WBANA) an international trade association of growers and processors of wild blueberries from Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Maine — are pleased to announce they will participate in the 19th International Congress of Nutrition and Dietetics (ICND), hosted by the Dietitians of Canada at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel Conference Centre in Toronto from June 12 – 14th. The ICND offers a global platform for dietetics and nutrition, sharing the best of applied science, practice and training experiences. Every four years the ICND hosts the world’s largest and most diverse representation of dietetics across the world. WBANA’s goal for participation is to provide insights into the latest research on the health and nutritional benefits of wild blueberries, one of Canada’s most important agricultural crops; the interactive WBANA booth will offer news, and information via a QR code, and samples of wild blueberries in various forms including Nova Scotia’s VanDyk’s wild blueberry juice and dried fruit, and Quebec’s Delices du Lac St Jean wild blueberry paste, for conference guests.

Recent study[1] reinforces benefits of wild blueberries on cardiovascular and brain function

Building on a 20+ year body of brain health wild blueberry research, in 2023 research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition further supports that daily consumption of wild blueberries improves episodic memory, executive function, and blood pressure in healthy adults. The 12-week clinical trial called BluFlow, led by Dr. Ana Rodriguez-Mateos, Associate Professor in Nutrition at the Department of Nutritional Sciences of King’s College London, and Professor Claire Williams, Chair of Neuroscience in the School of Psychology & Clinical Language Sciences at the University of Reading, investigated the cognitive and vascular benefits of daily wild blueberry consumption in healthy older individuals. Scientists found that daily supplementation led to improvements in cognitive and vascular function and the results build on a growing body of evidence that consuming wild blueberries has a positive effect on cognitive performance.

“The BluFlow study adds to the growing body of research evidence documenting benefits to human cognition associated with wild blueberry consumption,” said Kit Brohier, MS, RD, LD, nutrition advisor for the Wild Blueberry Association of North America. “Across the body of wild blueberry research to date, clinical benefits have been shown with older adults, older adults with mild cognitive impairment, and with adolescents, as well as in short-term and long-term intake studies. This suggests that wild blueberries may impact fundamental processes that affect human cognition. WBANA is currently underwriting exciting new research globally to continue to explore the potential of wild blueberry’s powerful health benefits.”

The healthful colour of blue

Other studies[2] also rank wild blueberries as the number one antioxidant compared to other fruit and vegetables, thanks to their anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants responsible for the intense blue and red pigments of the skin. It is these antioxidants that neutralize free radicals — unstable oxygen molecules associated with cancer, heart disease and aging — to promote health. The benefits are far-reaching and the subject of ongoing research and indicate that anthocyanins protect against brain aging and may improve motor skills and reverse short-term memory loss.

Where blue lives wild

The wild blueberry, smaller than the cultivated blueberry, is found growing in the low bush of the northern climates of Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island and Maine, deemed the “land of wild blueberries.” The best fields are often found in old farmland which has been abandoned for more than thirty to fifty years, where the plants thrive due to cool nights, sunny days, and plenty of rain. With this magical combination, blueberries have been growing wild throughout Quebec, Atlantic Canada, and Maine for thousands of years. Wild blueberries are distinct from their cultivated cousin not only because of the unique way they grow, but also due to their amazingly sweet, tangy taste and size. The combination of the wild blueberry varieties delivers a unique flavour burst that is distinctively wild. The sweet fruit is balanced by the high acidity, producing the perfect combination of natural flavour. The compact size of the wild blueberry also delivers more berries per pound; more skin per ounce means more health-promoting goodness.

The industry

Growing wild blueberries is a source of considerable pride for North American producers, who offer international consumers healthy products that meet the most rigorous health, safety, and quality standards in the world.

By choosing wild blueberries, whether fresh or frozen, consumers not only support the local economy, but also recognize the dedicated work of local producers. WBANA promotes the health benefits of wild blueberries internationally and encourages Canadians to eat fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy lifestyle. Consumers can purchase frozen wild blueberries in their local supermarket all year; one simply needs to ensure the word “wild” is stated on the package.

About the ICND and Dietitians Canada

ICND is the premier annual global event for dietetics and nutrition, where exhibitors and sponsors will engage with a diverse and globally influential dietetic community. The Congress provides a platform for dietitians from around the world to connect, exchange knowledge, share practical insights, and discover new training experiences. In 2024, the prestigious event is in Toronto, Canada, hosted by Dietitians of Canada –the nation’s leading organization of food and nutrition professionals with over four decades of history. Committed to advancing dietetics and healthier eating, its 5,000+ members enhance health and well-being of Canadians from coast to coast. The organization is a trusted source for evidence-based nutrition information, for both dietitians and the Canadians whom they serve.


WBANA is an international trade association of growers and processors of wild blueberries from Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Maine, dedicated to bringing the wild blueberry health story and unique wild advantages to healthcare professionals, consumers and the trade worldwide. The Canadian affiliate of the Wild Blueberry Association of North America (WBANA Canada) is implementing measures to support the development and expansion of international wild blueberry markets. Increased demand for the wild blueberry is helping to boost production and create jobs in many regions of Eastern Canada. Blueberries are the country’s most important fruit crop, occupying more than half of all fruit-growing acreage in Canada. Wild blueberries are exported to more than thirty countries, including the United States, Japan, and Germany. Since 1997, WBANA has been collaborating with elite scientists all over the world to help explore the health potential of wild blueberries. For news, recipes, and related health information about wild blueberries, visit www.wildblueberryassociation.ca and www.wildblueberries.com. Visit on FacebookInstagram or on Twitter/X @canadianwildbb and @wildbberries.


Media: For more information or to schedule an interview or broadcast segment with Kit Brohier, MS, RD, LD, nutrition advisor for the Wild Blueberry Association of North America or Patrick O’Neil, executive director at the Wild Blueberry Association of North America, contact Susan Willemsen at The Siren Group Inc. Tel: (416) 461-1567 or M; 416-402-4880. Email: susan@thesirengroup.com and @thesirengroup.

[1] https://ajcn.nutrition.org/article/S0002-9165(23)46300-9/fulltext#secsectitle0210

[2] https://www.wildblueberries.com/health-benefits/research/