"Antioxidants, in addition to the anti-adhesion effect on bacteria, are the reasons that cranberry consumption promotes urinary tract, dental, stomach and heart health,” explains Kristen Girard, principal food scientist, Ocean Spray ITG. Evidence is also being found that the antioxidants found in cranberries can inhibit the growth of lung tumors, colon and leukemia cells (in vitro).

The cranberry is one healthy ingredient that food manufacturers can use confidently without sacrificing taste, texture or other quality properties that consumers demand. Cranberries are recognized for their appealing bright red color, tangy taste and versatility—in addition to their health benefits. Sweetened, dried cranberries come in a wide selection: “less sugar-high fiber,” juice-infused, soft and moist, glycerated, diced or double-diced; and more. All enable manufacturers to choose the best format for their needs.

Often fruit inclusions can cause problems, including color and moisture bleed and loss of piece identity in applications such as breakfast cereals, cereal bars and baked goods. Ocean Spray ITG’s BerryFusions™ Fruits, cranberry-based, process-tolerant fruit ingredients, retain their shape and color throughout manufacture without moisture loss in dry applications such as cereals.

These real fruit fusions act as fruit mimics that offer a clean label declaration. A cranberry is used as a carrier, infused to a desired sweetness, and then topically flavored with natural flavors or combined with juice concentrate. Available in blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, mango, orange and apple-cinnamon flavors, these cranberry-based ingredients are ideal for a wide range of baked goods.

BerryFusions Fruits are hardy, process-tolerant fruit pieces that offer manufacturing stability; retain their piece identity without suffering the water migration or color bleed common to most fruits; and keep their flavor and texture throughout processing and storage. They can be incorporated directly into a batter or dough with no need to pre-soak or pre-treat—with no risk of compromising end product consistency.

Other cranberry products offered by Ocean Spray include frozen cranberries, cranberry purée, concentrate and powder. Demand for cranberries has seen double-digit growth in recent years. News of cranberries’ antibacterial properties has broadened their use into new areas of cereal, baked goods, trail mix, nutritional bars, smoothies and other nutritional foods.

For more information:

Ocean Spray ITG, Middleboro, Mass.

Tom Jones, 508-946-7606

tjones@oceanspray.com, www.oceansprayitg.com,www.oceanspray.com

Q&A: Cranberry Facts

How can cranberries be applied in products? Cranberry purée, which blends well with other fruit purées, is used in smoothies. Cranberry powder is used in nutraceutical applications such as tablets.

Are there other fruits that go well with cranberry? The distinctive taste of cranberry ingredients complements a wide range of fruit and non-fruit flavors.

What about cost; how do cranberries compare to blueberries, raspberries, grapes, etc.? Cranberry ingredients are cost-effective, value-added ingredients which compete with many other dried fruits on cost.

Can you get these other fruits in a dried format which would work in the same applications, or do cranberries have an advantage somehow? Dried cranberries offer multiple benefits over other dried fruits. Their bright color, functionality, distinctive taste and well-known health benefits add value to a wide range of products.

What are typical use levels for dried cranberries in trail mix, cereal bars or breakfast cereal? Use levels are determined by the end user and may vary from product to product.

What is the typical use level for cranberry powder in some examples of applications where it is used?  Use levels are determined by the end user and may vary from product to product.

What is the shelflife of these products? BerryFusions Fruits and dried cranberries have a shelflife of two years, if stored at or below 65°F. Cranberry powder has a shelflife of three years when protected from moisture and heat.