What is Brix?

Brix: What is a Brix Score and Why does it matter?

Why do some blueberries explode with taste? Without realizing it, we all enjoy blueberries with high Brix levels which is a measure of the health of the soil and an indicator of quality and nutritional value of the blueberries. High Brix scores enable your grocers to identify blueberries with higher levels of flavonoid and antioxidants. To the best of our knowledge, Better Way Farms is the only farm in the United States to publish its Brix scores for your retailer.

How can you quantify the taste and nutritional value of blueberries? That is a question Better Way Farms is endeavoring  to find out. A refractometer measures the degree to which light changes direction when it passes through a liquid (i.e., the light bends or refracts). The greater the bend, the higher the “Brix score,” indicating higher concentrations of natural sugar, mineral content, antioxidants, and other vitamins. In short, we are using  Brix scores to show why our blueberries explode with flavor and have superior nutritional value. The Brix score is an indicator of the nutritional value and with time, we anticipate there will be better tools available.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What are typical Brix scores for blueberries?
A: Multiple sources have reported Brix scores ranging from Poor (6 to 8), Average (8 to 12), Good (12 to 14) and Excellent (14 to 18).

Q: Does a high Brix score mean the fruit will perish more quickly?
A: Absolutely not! Higher Brix is a measure of our quality and an indicator that the berry will stay fresh longer. A good example of this is found in honey, with a very high sugar level and an incredibly long shelf-life.

Q: Do weather conditions influence the Brix scores?
A: Yes, with an approaching rain storm the plant will drop its sugars to the roots in order to protect itself, resulting in a lower Brix score temporarily.

Q: How accurate and precise are the Brix scores?
A: We have developed a consistent process designed to provide us with accurate scores and high precision (which is a measure of repeatability). Our confidence level is 95% that the score reported is +/- 0.28 accurate.

Q: Can Brix scores be manipulated?
A: Yes. There are techniques to increase the sugar levels in the blueberries right before harvest, without any increase in nutritional value, but consistent with our commitment to regenerative organic farming, we do not and will not use these techniques to manipulate our Brix scores.

brixMatthew Farber