After years of helping to fund the research and technology, the cranberry industry leader says it is now possible, with absolute certainty, to source effective, safe, potent and pure cranberry products
Not all cranberry is the same quality. Efficacy, purity and potency are more important than ever now that the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has ruled that supplements that contain a daily serving of 500 mg of whole fruit cranberry may use a qualified health claim on their labels and in their marketing materials. For nearly a decade, Fruit d’Or Nutraceuticals, the world’s largest grower of certified organic cranberries, has supported the development and use of reliable tools and standards to deliver the highest quality whole fruit cranberry products to its customers.
“As the industry leader, Fruit d’Or feels a responsibility to do everything possible to implement the highest standards for cranberry quality and authenticity. We have been funding work to debunk the junk in the cranberry marketplace since 2012,” comments Fruit d’Or Business Manager and Lead Consultant Stephen Lukawski.
“Quality, traceability and transparency begin in the field. You must know the composition of your raw material before you go to market. The next step is using the most advanced tools for verifying authenticity. Then we must confirm that the authenticated cranberry is standardized so that what’s inside is consistent,” Lukawski continues.
Taking a strong stand against adulteration
“Companies need to know that Fruit d’Or is helping them to grow their businesses by fighting against contaminants such as peanut skins, known allergens that are commonly used to sway PAC testing results,” adds Jean Leclerc, director of Sales and Business Development for Fruit d’Or.
In a paper published this year in CellPress, researchers analyzed the PAC content of 17 cranberry extracts and cranberry-based food supplements. They found that, “approximately 24% and 60% of the extracts and food supplements, respectively, differed significantly from the fruits.” In addition to peanut skins, other common adulterants included black beans, black rice and hibiscus.
Another paper published in Phytochemical Analysis found, “significant variation in composition of characteristic cranberry metabolites among commercial preparations, reinforcing the need for reliable industry standards.”
“Most tests can’t differentiate such adulterants as peanut skins from cranberry. That can not only mislead product manufacturers, it also makes research impossible,” comments Leclerc. “Fruit d’Or helped fund the development of Complete Phytochemical Solutions’ MALDI-TOF MS method of authentication because it is simply a far more accurate tool. A study published in the Journal of AOAC International determined that the MALDI-TOF MS can identify, differentiate and quantify cranberry PACs from other botanicals such as grape seed with a confidence of 95%.”
MALDI-TOF MS also provides fingerprint analysis for identification
Cranberry will vary from lot to lot because it is affected by every phase of the growing and manufacturing process, including drying and milling. That’s why it is so important to do a fingerprint analysis on the starting material, then link that to its bioefficacy and standardization.
Bioactive compounds, such as PACs, are the key ingredients in a product that are directly responsible for a beneficial health outcome. The MALDI-TOF MS can reveal a truer representation of what’s inside the raw materials.“With standardization, we can link biomarkers to chemistry, which then link to efficacy,” explains Lukawski.
“MALDI-TOF MS is one of the most advanced and accurate tools for identification and authentication of cranberry juice powder and whole cranberry powder. It’s also one of the most expensive,” Lukawski continues. “Fruit d’Or was the first to recognize the importance of this tool. Reliable analytical tools open the door to new science. We are looking at taking whole fruit cranberry beyond UTIs. If we are to complete credible and reliable research, we must be leaders in the advanced testing methods and tools.”
TRU ID: DNA barcoding for authenticity
Fruit d’Or Nutraceuticals was also the industry’s first cranberry supplier to join the TRU ID testing program and become a TRU ID Certified Partner. TRU ID is the world’s first certification program founded on cutting-edge DNA biotechnology, in support of businesses seeking authentic ingredients. All Fruit d’Or cranberry ingredients undergo TRU ID DNA sequential barcoding for authenticity.
“TRU ID testing complements the MALDI-TOF testing we’re doing, creating even higher standards of authenticity,” Lukawski says. “If you don’t have authenticity and identification, how will you have standardization? And without standardization, how will you have the consistency necessary to achieve efficacy, safety and potency?”
In addition to TRU ID and MALDI-TOF testing, all Fruit d’Or Nutraceuticals’ cranberry ingredients also undergo analysis of biomarkers for standardization, and anti-adhesion testing to establish efficacy.
Gaining trust by protecting consumers
“Fruit d’Or’s goal is to protect the consumer by producing efficacious, science-based cranberry ingredients,” comments Leclerc. “We need all industry stakeholders to accept and adopt these same test methods to prevent adulteration, and create authenticity and standardization. Now that we have the tools, continuing without that acceptance could have a negative effect on the future growth of the cranberry industry.”
Agrees Lukawski, “Fruit d’Or is here to protect your interest and your brands by providing quality ingredients. We want to provide you with peace of mind knowing that we’re creating the highest quality standards from the field to table, including doing all of the necessary testing to ensure safety, purity, standardization and efficacy.”
Visit www.qualitycranberry.com for additional information about the advances Fruit d’Or is making within the cranberry industry.