Be Berry Aware Campaign Helps Educate Cranberry Lovers
A newly launched consumer education campaign called Be Berry Aware is helping consumers identify high quality cranberry juices that pack the nutritional benefits they have come to expect from this flavorful beverage. Most people know that cranberries have a multitude of health benefits, but many consumers don't know which cranberry juices actually have a significant amount of cranberry content. The Be Berry Aware campaign aims to arm consumers with information that will allow them to make informed buying decisions the next time they are looking for an authentic, high-quality, high-content cranberry juice.
So who would care enough about cranberries to develop an educational campaign like Be Berry Aware? Not surprisingly, it was the cranberry growers themselves that thought it was time for consumers to be able to go down the juice aisle and pick out a cranberry juice that meets their standards for cranberry content. These growers know that "not all cranberry juices are created equal" and wanted to find a way to help consumers choose a high content juice.
To make the Be Berry Aware effort possible, it was necessary to enlist the help of world-class cranberry researchers to develop new and innovative techniques for analyzing cranberry juice drinks. Up until a couple of years ago it was difficult to characterize the components that make cranberries unique. All fruits contain compounds that are generally referred to as polyphenols. In the case of cranberry, this general group of polyphenols can be broken down into more specific subclasses: a type of tannin called proanthocyanidin (PAC), flavonols, anthocyanins, and hydroxycinnamic acids. It is the PAC that contributes many of the health benefits associated with cranberry consumption. Now these cutting-edge techniques allow researchers to differentiate a cranberry PAC from a grape PAC, apple PAC, etc.
"Collectively polyphenols represent a ‘fingerprint' of the cranberry fruit. Our innovative techniques provide information both quantitatively (how much of the compound is present) and qualitatively (what is the shape and complexity of the compound). This information is used for authenticity, standardization, and efficacy evaluation of cranberry products," says Christian Krueger, a research scientist and CEO of Complete Phytochemical Solutions, LLC, who performed the testing on the juice products.
Armed with these new techniques, researches set out to analyze a wide variety of cranberry juices with the goal of identifying juices that contain at least 27 percent cranberry juice. The end result was a list of 10 cranberry juices that consumers can purchase with confidence knowing they are high in cranberry content. Cranberry juice lovers can visit www.BeBerryAware.com for a list of these cranberry juice products along with information on the specific nutritional benefits of cranberries and a link to the actual supporting research.
In addition to the Be Berry Aware website, there is also information available to food and nutrition professionals that will help spread the word about the health benefits of cranberries. A new informational "tool kit" has been developed that will make it easy for registered dieticians to pass along key at-a-glance messages communicating the importance of cranberry juice content and the associated health benefits. A flash drive is available upon request that includes a PowerPoint deck with updated cranberry juice facts and information, and a NEW InfoGraphic which gives an easy to understand summary of why this small fruit packs such big health benefits.