Chr Hansen is set to launch a new range of cranberry ingredients available for both the dietary supplement and functional food industries.
NutriPhy Cranberry uses both the European (vaccinium oxycoccus) and North American (vaccinium macrocarpon) cranberry, and will be aimed chiefly at preventing bacteria in the urinary tract.
Unlike other cranberry ingredients it has a minimum of four per cent of proanthocyanidins, the active compound found in cranberries, Chr Hansen said. NutriPhy will be available as a powder.
These components have in the past been linked to combating urinary tract infections (UTIs), and have been associated with having a positive effect in inhibiting the growth of human lung, colon and leukaemia cells in culture.
Dr Celine Aubert, technical industry manager, dietary supplements, Chr. Hansen, said: "Cranberry is already known to many consumers for its inhibiting effect on bacterial infections and its general antioxidant effect. But it also offers a wide range of possible health benefits to our cardiovascular and urinary tract health as well as to our immune system, and is therefore very interesting to the dietary supplement industry."
The news comes as welcome relief for those that suffer UTIs, which each year affect eight million people, mostly women, the elderly and infants resulting in $1.6bn (€1.3bn) in health care costs.
Sami Sassi, Business Development Manager, Phytonutrients, Chr. Hansen, said: "We have extracted the nuclear of the cranberry and made a product, which is more than 10 times more concentrated compared to the cranberry itself. We supply the product in an easy-to-use powder form and believe the NutriPhy Cranberry to be a powerful ingredient for the supplement industry."
The advantages of cranberry at helping fend off urinary infections have been well publicised. In a 2004 study, researchers from the University of Washington found that drinking eight ounces of the juice works at helping to combat the bacteria that causes most urinary tract infections.
Just last year another study by scientists at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) demonstrated that proanthocyanidins affect E. coli in three ways, all of which prevent the bacteria from adhering to cells in the body, a necessary first step in all infections.
The NutriPhy range also includes other active ingredients such as different polyphenols and natural carotenoids and will be officially launched at Supply Side West, Las Vegas, next month.