Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc., Lakeville-Middleboro, Mass., announced a product development partnership with ingredient researcher Amai Proteins, Rehovot, Israel. Through joint development agreements, Ocean Spray and Amai Proteins say they plan by 2022 to develop and introduce a cranberry juice with at least a 40% sugar reduction.

“Ocean Spray is proud to partner with Amai Proteins to bring consumers additional options for changing habits and lifestyles,” says Katy Latimer, Ocean Spray vice president of research and development. “We will continue to develop options that showcase the incredible health benefits of the cranberry while highlighting our commitment to health and wellness.”

Amai (which means “sweet” in Japanese) says its sugar-reduction solution is “a hyper-sweet protein that is thousands of times sweeter than sugar.” Through computational protein design, Amai Proteins says it has redesigned sweet proteins to fit the requirements of the market—including temperature and acid stability for better shelf-life, great taste and affordable cost.

Officials add that Amai Proteins’ process involves environmentally-friendly, sustainable production in a brewery using yeast or other microorganisms. They say the resulting GMO-free protein is inspired by sweet proteins that sweeten exotic fruits found along the equatorial belt.

“Amai Proteins offers the sweetest protein in the world as a tasty and healthy significant sugar reduction solution,” said Ilan Samish, CEO of Amai Proteins. “We are excited to be working with Ocean Spray in bringing our sweet proteins to the iconic cranberry cooperative as a healthy option for consumers to enjoy their favorite cranberry flavor.”

Ocean Spray and Amai Proteins said they expect to apply learnings to additional future Ocean Spray products.

It was a little more than year ago, in December 2019, when Ocean Spray added three new flavors to its Pure Fruit juices line. Ocean Spray Pure fruit juices contain no added sugars, no artificial flavors, no preservatives, and are non-GMO. Building off the success of Pure Cranberry at Walmart since 2017, Pure now includes Pure Cranberry, Pure Tart Cherry, Pure White Grapefruit, and Pure Concord Grape.

This past November saw Ocean Spray introduce four functional infused waters under the B1U brand. Offerings include I need a boost (Watermelon Cucumber Infused Water with 60 mg of black tea caffeine); I need rhythm (Strawberry Basil Infused Water with 8g of plant-based fiber); I need immunity (Lemon Chamomile Infused Water with 22mg of zinc and 128mg of vitamin C); and I need power (Peach Kiwi Infused Water with 10g of protein).