Decas Cranberry Products (DCP) has fortified sweetened organic cranberries with omega-3 - an enhancement that could help formulators improve the nutritional profile of foods.
According to the company the new sweetened dried cranberries can be used in a number of food products including healthy snacks, cereals, yogurt, muffins and salads.
They are USDA National Organic Program and European Union certified organic.
DCP, headquartered in Wareham, Massachusetts, uses OmegaCran cranberry seed oil to fortify the berries, giving them 240mg of Omega-3 fatty acids per third cup serving of sweetened dried berries.
The company is the largest independently owned cranberry ingredient company in the world - supplying over 50 million pounds of cranberry product per year worldwide.
Decas decided to fortify cranberries in an effort to meet "customers' ever changing needs," said John Wankewicz, director of sales and marketing for DCP.
US consumption of cranberry products is on the rise according to a recent nationwide survey conducted by the Cranberry Marketing Committee (CMC), which represents the country's cranberry industry. The study found that among the total population, 59 percent of consumers buy cranberry products once a month or more.
The company's research division, Decas Botanical Synergies, developed OmegaCran oil from cranberry seeds using a cold press expeller process.
OmegaCran offers many of the benefits of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids without the taste of fish oil, Decas claims. The product is rich in tocotrienols (vitamin E) and linoleic acid.
Apart from cranberry's ability to help ward off urinary tract infections, consumers were largely unaware of the many other nutritional and therapeutic benefits of the fruit.
Among the other benefits attributed to cranberries are that they contain anti-oxidants, are good for heart health, as well as reduce ulcers and gum disease.
Dried cranberries ranked fourth, after cranberry juice, cranberry sauce and whole cranberries, in the CMC survey in terms of the product consumers would be most likely to buy.