The case for berries as an ingredient in supplements, functional foods and beverage

By Adi Menayang contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Berry, Polyphenols, Polyphenol antioxidant, formulation, R&D

Polyphenol-rich fruits like blueberries, raspberries, and cranberries only grow in certain parts of the world and are available fresh only for a certain period of time. By freeze-drying and extracting some of its phytonutrients, product developers can make the health benefits of berries more widespread, says one researcher.

Dr Navindra Seeram is a professor in the Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Rhode Island. He chaired a session on Food Technology and Chemistry at the Berry Health Benefits Symposium in Portland, OR, earlier this month.

Speaking to NutraIngredients-USA about the current consumer landscape of understanding berries, Dr Seeram said: “The consumer perception of berries has always been, I think, they associate berries with health. And berries as you know are very nutrient dense. They are rich sources of phytonutrients.”

Isolated compounds found in berries such as anthocyanins have been linked to different health benefits such as cognitive performance improvements and improved cardiometabolic markers.

But extracting certain compounds in a berry isn’t just about trying to develop specialty products. “I always tell people, listen, dietary supplements are meant to supplement the diet. So if you can integrate berries in your diet, then do that. But not everyone can do that,” ​Dr Seeram said.

“Berries are maybe not available all time of years in certain parts of the world, and therefore you may be better off getting those phytonutrients in the form of a frozen berry, IQF berry, or in the form of an extract or a dietary supplement.”

“Sometimes also the dietary supplement can deliver higher levels of bioactives in a very standardized form. So I think it depends on what the consumer is looking for, but for sure, get it in some form rather than none at all.”

Watch the video above to learn more.

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