Here’s why blueberries are blue

Nanostructures in the berries' waxy coating make them appear blue, despite dark red pigments in the skin

an image that is filled with nothing but blueberries

Nanostructures in a blueberry’s waxy coating reflect blue and ultraviolet light, giving blueberries their characteristic color, a study shows.

Daniel Hurst Photography/Moment/Getty Images

The secret to a blueberry’s hue is in the structure of its wax coat.

Waxy coverings on blue-colored fruits such as blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum), grapes (Vitis vinifera) and some plums contain nanostructures that scatter blue and ultraviolet light, researchers report February 7 in Science Advances.