The Pear Bureau Northwest is expanding research beyond a focus on helping pear growers farm more efficiently and into how the nutritional benefits of pears can boost consumer health.

The pear bureau invests close to 3 cents per box on grower-related research efforts, said Kevin Moffitt, president and chief executive officer of Pear Bureau Northwest, Milwaukie, Ore. Those research projects address issues such as reducing pesticide use through temperature modeling, mating disruption to confuse pests and the introduction of beneficial insects.

Those research projects are funded by grants from the pear bureau that tally close to $700,000 per year.

Moffitt said the pear bureau is also expanding efforts started in the 2012 season to identify the health benefits of pears, he said.

“We’re putting more funds in place to really target pears and their benefits,” he said.

Moffitt said researchers soon may publish scientific papers on the nutritional benefits of pears.

“We may be looking to do some human trials once we decide where the best areas for the potential research benefit,” he said.

Topics such as diabetes, weight loss and the benefits of fiber to gut health are subjects of research interest.

Pears contain six grams of fiber, which is about 25% of the recommended daily requirement.

Moffitt said the first scientific paper about the health benefits of pears may be published by November.