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Tests reveal urgent need for cranberry standardization

Since there is no standardization of PAC potency on the labels of natural cranberry supplements, how can consumers know how to select the best quality?

Stephen Lukawski, director of sales and product development at Fruit d'Or, the world's largest grower and processor of organic cranberry and blueberry, a recent independent test on total overall PAC (proanthocyanidin) activity that was performed on cranberry juice 90% fruit solid spray-dried powder showed that Cran Naturelle Organic all natural whole food from Fruit d'Or Nutraceuticals exhibited the highest potency of both soluble and insoluble PACs.

The test was completed in July 2014 by a third-party accredited laboratory, Complete Phytochemical Solutions LLC, Cambridge, Wis. The laboratory used DMAC method for quantification of soluble extractable PACs. Both the A2 dimer standard and C-PAC standard were used to quantify soluble PACs. The laboratory prefers to use the C-PAC standard in the DMAC assay to more accurately quantify the soluble PACs in extracted cranberry powders and juices. Unlike A2 procyanidin dimer standard which is a simple compound, the C-PAC standard contains multiple compounds and better represents the natural structural PAC variations present in cranberry fruit. Five-point standard curves (A2 procyanidin dimer and C-PAC) are generated for each and every analytic run.

According to Lukawski, new methods can now accurately measure and compare all cranberry powders. Results showed that Cran Naturelle Organic whole cranberry contained a minimum of 2 to 3% soluble PACs based on the DMAC method using the C-PAC standard. Cranberry juice powder contained only half the potency in comparison to Cran Naturelle of water-s0luble PACs. When combining both soluble and insoluble PAC to obtain an overall result, Cran Naturelle was almost five times higher in total PAC (mg/g).

Lukawski asserts that since there is no standardization of potency of PACs on the labels of natural cranberry supplements, thus consumers are not aware how to select the best quality available.

"The real concern is that some buyers are trading off price for quality and the consumer suffers along with the industry," he asserts. "This lack of standardization amongst natural cranberry powders needs to be addressed with efficacy and science. Consumers would have to take five grams of cranberry juice powder—or 10 - 12 capsules daily—to equal any benefit that can be provided by 1,000 mg of Cran Naturelle daily, which was shown in clinical studies by Rutgers University. This means that the consumer's cost per daily dose is more expensive and it is also highly inconvenient and unappealing to take so many capsules per day."

Lukawski believes that these test results open the doors for serious discussion about creating standardized percentages of active compounds in natural cranberry, notably standardizing PACs, which ultimately delivers trustworthy viability to consumers who rely on their cranberry supplements for urinary tract health and other health benefits. "I challenge the buyers in the nutraceutical industry to test and compare natural cranberry powders against Cran Naturelle. When it comes to UTI and women's health, buyers need to put the needs of the consumer in front of the bottom line or this will end up hurting the whole industry. Buyers need to be held accountable and responsible for poor quality of products. Cranberry juice powders or any cranberry powders that are not standardized to contain a minimum potency of PACs on the labels could be a waste of good money and can damage credibility. We need to discuss the long-term potential that standardization of cranberry material may provide."



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