Stephen Lukawski, sales and development director for Fruit d’Or, said the ingredient builds on evidence that shows the efficaciousness of the polyphenols in cranberries in promoting oral health by restricting the growth of harmful bacteria. Cranberries have long been associated with the general polyphenol-linked benefits common to all berries. But this new health claim positioning moves the berry beyond the realm of urinary tract infections (UTIs), which has been the primary focused health claim for the ingredient up to now.
The primary bioactive class of polyphenols in cranberries are proanthocyanidins (PACs). In UTIs, evidence shows that PACs work to support urinary tract health by inhibiting the adhesion of harmful bacteria to the bladder wall. Lukawski said the new ingredient supports oral health in a similar fashion, by targeting “biofilm,” the colony of microorganisms that coats surfaces in the mouth including teeth and gums.
“There is evidence that there are clear benefits of cranberry for bleeding gums. The mechanism of action is the same as in the urinary tract wall. Cranberry PACs inhibit the growth of biofilm, and biofilm acts as a sticky substance that allows harmful bacteria to colonize and grow,” Lukawski said.
The new ingredient is packaged in sachets into which a toothbrush loaded with toothpaste is meant to be dipped. Then consumers brush and rinse as usual. The planned product, which will be offered in a 60-sachet package, good enough for 30 days, will be offered as a finished formulation for private labeling.
Lukawski said that in addition to the ingredient’s general oral health benefits there is a need for specific aide for certain categories of consumers.
“It is a natural alternative out there that should be under consideration, for example for cancer patients who can’t have their teeth cleaned for 19 or 20 months while they are undergoing chemo because of the risk of infection,” he said.
Fruit d’Or has certified its ingredients as organic and has achieved Non GMO Project verification. Even more important, said Lukawski, is the characterization work the company has done on its ingredients. Working with Christian Krueger, principal of the Wisconsin-based firm Complete Phytochemical Solutions, Fruit d’Or has identified a broad array of polyphenols of varying solubility profiles and has used that information to standardize its ingredient.
“Some of the other companies have not fingerprinted their products. We have standardized our product so that we know we will be delivering 36 mg of PACs per sachet,” Lukwaski said.