Paul Flowerman, president of PL Thomas (PLT), announced that the company has joined forces with Just the Berries (JTB) of Palmerston North, New Zealand, a grower and processor of black currant derivations (Ribes nigrum L). The agreement calls for PL Thomas to be the exclusive North American sales and marketing representative for this potent antioxidant ingredient that has a diverse range of appealing consumer product applications.
Mr. Eddie Shiojima, CEO of Just the Berries, noted that "PLT's 60 years' experience in developing markets for clinically-supported natural ingredients and its strong industry relationships makes them the perfect strategic partner for the only scientifically supported black currant extract."
Black Currants have been named "King of Berries" because they contain several times the concentration of potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium, vitamins A, B and C, other trace minerals, organic acids, and many more phenolics, than any other fruits. "It can also be called the Multivitamin and Mineral Berry," Flowerman comments," Black Currant from Just the Berries is differentiated from all other black currant sources because of the large volumes of condition specific and pharmokinetic research that has been carried out using their unique black currant products. The ingredient is also distinguished by its appealing taste and aroma attributes, making this line suitable for a host of consumables ranging from dietary supplements, beverages, healthy processed foods and cosmetic applications."
Just the Berries' Black Currant ingredients have been tested in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study showing benefit in eye health and vision support.
In the nutritional analysis carried out by the Crop and Food Research Institute (a New Zealand government research center), New Zealand black currants were found to have highest contents of anthocyanins and other phytochemicals of all black current sources. Dr. Caloryn Lister of the New Zealand Crop and Food Institute Ltd. showed that anthocyanin content is 375 mg per 100 g (average) in European Black Currant and 570 mg per 100 g (average) in New Zealand Black Currant. The New Zealand Black Currant variety "Ben Ard", grown by JTB and used in all of its extract products, contains more than 700 mg/100 g.
Researchers attribute the higher concentration of anthocyanins to New Zealand's clean, unpolluted air, and intense, natural sunlight which helps to produce the best Black Currants in the world.. Just the Berries black currants are grown without chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides.