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The Supreme variety of muscadine grapes

Muscadine Grapes: A New Health Food and an Alternative Crop

By Doris Stanley
November 20, 1997

Scientists with the Agricultural Research Service and Mississippi State University have found significant amounts of resveratrol in the skin, pulp, and seeds of muscadine grapes. Resveratrol is the compound in French wines said to lower cholesterol and the risk of coronary heart disease.

In the Southeast, muscadines are grown to make juice. But the researchers are now using muscadine waste from juice processing to make products like muffins, jams and granola cereal.

One-half serving (two ounces) of unfiltered muscadine juice, one serving of muscadine jam, one medium muscadine muffin, or one-tenth serving of muscadine sauce give the same dietary amounts of resveratrol as four fluid ounces of red wine. That’s according to the researchers, horticulturist Jim Magee at ARS’ Small Fruit Research Laboratory in Poplarville, Miss., and nutritionist Betty Ector with MSU in Mississippi State, Miss.

Muscadine puree--an excellent source of resveratrol, dietary fiber and some essential minerals--is high in carbohydrates and low in fat and protein. Powdered puree contains more dietary fiber than oat or rice bran. In MSU studies, rats fed the powder had lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and higher HDL (good) levels than animals in the control group.

The muscadine’s newfound health benefits could boost the crop in the Southeast. And Magee and ARS colleagues have developed growing methods that reduce the time needed to produce a commercial crop from 5 years to 3 years.

A story about the research appears in the November issue of ARS’ Agricultural Research magazine. The story can also be viewed on the World Wide Web at:


Scientific contact: James B. Magee, ARS, Small Fruit Research Laboratory, Poplarville, MS 39470; phone (601) 795-8751, fax 795-4965,; Betty J. Ector, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 93762, phone (601) 325-8090, fax 325-8188