Danish Chr Hansen recently launched a cranberry ingredient for functional foods that could further increase the role of the berry beyond juice and dietary supplements.
The Danish company introduced Nutriphy cranberry at SupplySide West in Las Vegas.
"We have extracted the nuclear of the cranberry and made a product, which is more than ten times more concentrated compared to the cranberry itself," said Sami Sassi, Chr Hansen business development manager for phytonutrients. "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."
While consumers largely identify cranberry's healthy attribute as being its ability to help ward off urinary tract infections, the berries also contain anti-oxidants and are said to be good for heart health and to reduce ulcers and gum disease.
In the US, the berries hold no health claims, but cranberry specialist Ocean Spray has in large part carried the message through to consumers via awareness campaigns that do not form part of its direct product or juice ads.
"Cranberry is already known to many consumers for its inhibiting effect on bacterial infections and its general antioxidant effect," said Chr Hansen technical industry manager for dietary supplements, Celine Aubert. "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. "
Chr Hansen says Nutriphy cranberry packs a more powerful punch than the cranberry juice, juice concentrate, dried berries and dried pomace that are frequently used as raw materials for the dietary supplements industry,
The cranberry extract powder is standardized to a minimum of 4 percent proanthocyanidins, which may help reduce the adhesion of certain E. coli bacteria to the urinary tract walls. Other active ingredients in the product include polyphenols and carotenoids.
Chr Hansen sources the raw materials for Nutriphy from European cranberry vaccinium oxycoccus and North American cranberry vaccinium macrocarpon.