“The organic story is alive and well. As a company we are one of largest growers of organic cranberry and blueberries. That’s really the focus down the road as we want to be the leaders not only in production but in education,” Stephen Lukawski, director of global sales and business development of Fruit d’Or told NutraIngredients-USA.
Quebec-based Fruit d’Or has in recent months been highlighting the work of Christian Krueger, research manager at the University of Wisconsin Madison. Krueger has developed a mass spectrometry method through the company, Complete Phytochemical Solutions, he operates in conjunction with his university activities. Known by the acronym MALDI-TOF, Krueger has used the approach to give a more complete look at the proanthocyanidins contained within the fruit. The approach can characterize both the soluble and insoluble fractions, according to Krueger.
Since its introduction, the technique has started to gain traction within the research community, Lukawski said. It’s an important step, he said, because as has been seen with other botanical ingredients, as the popularity of cranberry ingredients has risen, so has the evidence of adulteration in the market.
The new powders, which Lukawski said are of interested to functional food and conventional food manufacturers as well as the dietary supplement community, carry Fruit d’Or’s vertical integration quality message. The company grows its own raw material, and does its own manufacturing, with the exception of the drying step for the new powders. This is a key differentiator for the new ingredients, Lukawski said.
“Since most companies don’t manufacture what they sell they can’t control the process as well. We have that farm to table story,” Lukawski said.
New drying technology
For the new powder offerings, Fruit d’Or chose manufacturing partner PowderPure of The Dalles, OR for the critical drying step. The company is one of several offering alternatives to traditional spray drying and freeze drying techniques. In PowderPure’s case that company’s proprietary ambient pressure drying process branded as Infidri uses microwaves targeted only at the water molecules, leaving fragile nutrients untouched.
The company employs more than 70 workers in north central Oregon and recently raised $5.8 million in senior and subordinated debt to fund “rapid expansion and growth,” according to the Portland Business Journal.
“We feel that the drying of the cranberry is a critical process in traceability and sustainability,” Lukawski said.“Other drying processes can affect the proanthocyanidins with too much heat. With that you will see degradation.”
“Most cranberry juice powders are hydroscopic as they are sticky and clump together making them difficult to work with. Our organic cranberry juice powders have a better taste profile, richer color, and more attractive flowability and dispersion that makes it much easier for supplement and beverage manufacturers to use. Even better, our organic cranberry juice powders deliver a guaranteed potency of natural proanthocyanidin content of 0.5%,” he said.