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News 21.12.2011

New Zealand Ingredient For New Japanese Health Drink

New Zealand blackcurrants are one of the key ingredients in a…

New Zealand blackcurrants are one of the key ingredients in a new health product now on sale in Japan.

The new health drink was developed by Phiten Co. Ltd, a specialist sport, beauty and health product manufacturer. New Zealand blackcurrant extract was included as a key ingredient of the product, due to an increased understanding of the benefits of New Zealand blackcurrants as a functional food ingredient.

Alan Dobson, Managing Director of Cooperative marketing agent New Zealand Berryfruit Group (NZBG), says this is the first time NZBG has developed a product using research from New Zealand, and the first of many potential opportunities in the functional food market for New Zealand ingredients.

“The functional food market is rapidly expanding, particularly in the Asian markets,” he says. “There is real value in having our own New Zealand scientific information, as well as in-market assistance from our research partners, to support our product development work with these well-informed audiences. This collaboration between the New Zealand blackcurrant industry, New Zealand scientists and a specialist food manufacturer is the first of many potential opportunities in this area to add value to our berryfruit industry.”

Blackcurrant grower body New Zealand Blackcurrant Co-operative (Co-op), who represents all blackcurrant growers, also acknowledges the functional foods market as an opportunity to build value for the berryfruit industry with premium overseas markets.

Research, published in 2009 by scientists at Plant & Food Research, showed that compounds in New Zealand blackcurrants may have effects on sports performance and recovery, enhancing the body’s ability to defend against disease and minimising muscle damage caused by inflammation and stress. Additional research published in 2010 showed that New Zealand blackcurrant extracts may also minimise lung inflammation in some forms of asthma.

The new product, Cassis 5000, went on sale on 1 November in Japan. The product contains 5,000mg of blackcurrant concentrate per 100ml bottle, and is aimed at young professional women wanting a healthy lifestyle.

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