Think twice before purchasing your next cranberry supplement.
Cranberry is now becoming a superfruit. We’re still discovering its many health benefits such as oral health care. But not all cranberry products are the same and not all lab testing is the same. Adulteration and manipulation of labels of cranberry products within the cranberry industry are rampant.
There have been reports of cranberry product coming in offshore that has been adulterated with a disparate variety of other ingredients such as grape and peanut skins, plum and black beans. Supplements made with these ingredients and mislabeled for cranberry benefits are deceptive. Some products labeled as cranberry don’t contain 100% cranberry. As concerning: They could put your health and safety at risk.
Cranberry’s Many Health Benefits
Research shows that pure cranberry and its proanthocyanidins (PACs) have powerful bacterial anti-adhesion properties that support urinary tract, oral and gut health. Most cranberry products are marketed based on their branding and pricing not efficacy or standardization. We must all guard against supporting those companies that adulterate or mislabel their products with less expensive PAC sources, such as grape seed extract or peanut skin. To get all of cranberry’s benefits and safety, you must ensure you are getting 100% pure cranberry that promotes standardization and efficacy.
New analytical tools and testing methods have now been developed for a guarantee of purity, efficacy and safety. They need to be used. To ensure ultimate consumer safety, the first-ever cranberry supplier quality testing program, Cranberry Quality Assurance (CQA), was just launched. The purpose behind this voluntary, third-party testing program is to test the cranberry powder from growers to suppliers to manufacturers. CQA has created standards for cranberry powder through a quantitative and qualitative testing protocol.
One of the new tools used in this program tests the raw ingredient’s DNA to ensure that it is 100% pure cranberry. There are a series of four additional tests which, combined, ensure the cranberry powder being sold has been tested for identity, safety, purity and efficacy.
Fruit d’Or, maker of organic Cran Naturelle and non-organic Cran d'Or whole food cranberry and organic juice powders, was the first cranberry supplier to use this program to verify that it is bringing best-in-class cranberry from field to your table. Fruit d’Or cranberry ingredients are also used in a number of well-known brands such as Jarrow Formulas, Swanson, Vibrant Health and UP4 UAS Life Sciences.
Think Twice Before Purchasing A Cranberry Product
How do you know if your cranberry product contains pure cranberry and has not been adulterated or mislabeled? If you are price sensitive, you may be putting yourself at risk. Look for organic whenever possible and read the label to ensure a minimum potency of PACs. It may be more expensive but it is a cleaner, more effective and safe product. When it comes to your health, quality comes first not price.
If you’re still unsure, ask your retailer or supplier the right questions. Does this manufacturer test for adulteration standardization of PACs or cranberry DNA? If retailers don’t have the answers, encourage them to ask their suppliers. Don’t be afraid to walk away. Ultimately, it’s the responsibility of individuals procuring the raw ingredients to understand their product’s composition.
As a buyer, educate yourself about these quality issues and about the solutions that are now available. Ask questions and be smart about your choices. Working together, we can contribute to the health and wellness of others, and elevate the cranberry industry to the respected status it well deserves. Just be “berry” aware that not all cranberry is the same quality.
Stephen Lukawski is director of sales and business development for Fruit d’Or Nutraceuticals and a pioneer in the cranberry industry for more than 15 years. Fruit d'Or Nutraceuticals is a global leader in organic processing and supply of nutraceutical cranberry and blueberry powders. The company provides cutting-edge innovation in technology and science for cranberry. Fruit d'Or Nutraceuticals engages in product development, research and a commitment to quality and safety – the company controls the quality from the seed to the field, from harvest to manufacturing to retail. ThisCanadian facility provides non-GMO, organic, state-of-the-art quality control, and traceability, key factors to its and the industry's future growth and long-term success. Explore www.crannaturelle.ca.
NOTE: WholeFoods Magazine does not endorse any specific brand or product. The opinions expressed in bylined articles are not necessarily those of the publisher.
Posted on WholeFoods Magazine Online, 5/3/2016