Thursday, September 30, 2010

Superfruit: Goji Berry (Wolfberry)

Wolfberry, commercially called goji berry, is the common name for the fruit of two very closely related species: Lycium barbarum (Chinese: pinyin) and L. chinense (Chinese: pinyin), two species of boxthorn in the family Solanaceae (which also includes the potato, tomato, eggplant, deadly nightshade, chili pepper, and tobacco). It is native to southeastern Europe and Asia.
It is also known as Chinese wolfberry, mede berry, barbary matrimony vine, bocksdorn, Duke of Argyll's tea tree, Murali (in India), red medlar, or matrimony vine. Unrelated to the plant's geographic origin, the names Tibetan goji and Himalayan goji are in common use in the health food market for products from this plant.
These species produce a bright orange-red, ellipsoid berry 1–2-cm deep. The number of seeds in each berry varies widely based on cultivar and fruit size, containing anywhere between 10–60 tiny yellow seeds that are compressed with a curved embryo. The berries ripen from July to October in the northern hemisphere.
"Wolfberry" is the most commonly used English name, while gouqi is the Chinese name for the berry producing plant. In Chinese, the berries themselves are called gouqizi, with zi meaning "seed" or specifically "berry". The origin of the common name "wolfberry" is unknown, perhaps resulting from confusion over the genus name, which resembles "lycos", the Greek word for wolf. In the English-speaking world, "goji berry" has been used since the early 21st century as a synonym for "wolfberry".
In Japan the plant is known as kuko and the fruits are called kuko no mi or kuko no kajitsu; in Korea the berries are known as gugija; in Vietnam the fruit is called "ky tu", "cau ky", "cau ky tu" but the plant and its leaves are known more popularly as "cu khoi"; and in Thailand the plant is called gao gee. In Tibetan the plant is called dretsherma, with dre meaning "ghost" and tsherma meaning "thorn"; and the name of the fruit is dretsherma drawu, with drawu meaning "fruit".
As a food, dried wolfberries are traditionally cooked before consumption. Dried wolfberries are often added to rice congee and almond jelly, as well as used in Chinese tonic soups, in combination with chicken or pork, vegetables, and other herbs such as wild yam, Astragalus membranaceus, Codonopsis pilosula, and licorice root. The berries are also boiled as an herbal tea, often along with chrysanthemum flowers and/or red jujubes, or with tea, particularly pu-erh tea and packaged teas are also available.
Various wines containing wolfberries (called gouqi jiu) are also produced, including some that are a blend of grape wine and wolfberries. At least one Chinese company also produces wolfberry beer, and New Belgium Brewery makes their seasonal Springboard ale with wolfberries used as flavoring. Since the early 21st century, an instant coffee product containing wolfberry extract has been produced in China. Young wolfberry shoots and leaves are also grown commercially as a leaf vegetable.
Nutrients and phytochemicals
Wolfberry contains significant percentages of a day's macronutrient needs – carbohydrates, protein, fat and dietary fiber. About 68% of the mass of dried wolfberries exists as carbohydrate, 12% as protein, and 10% each as fiber and fat, giving a total caloric value in a 100 gram serving of 370 (kilo)calories. These distinctively flavoured red berries are a very rich source of vitamin C, having 500 times more vitamin C per ounce than oranges and actually more than any other fruit. They are a superb source of vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and E and contain a full complement of protein with 18 amino acids and 21 trace minerals. Most of all they are an excellent antioxidant making it an ideal natural whole food for reversing aging and protecting against disease.

Wolfberries contain many nutrients and phytochemicals including

-    11 essential and 22 trace dietary minerals
-    18 amino acids
-    6 essential vitamins
-    8 polysaccharides and 6 monosaccharides
-    5 unsaturated fatty acids, including the essential fatty acids, linoleic  acid and alpha-linolenin acid
-    beta-sitosterol and other phytosterols
-    5 carotenoids, including beta-carotene and zeaxanthin, lutein, lycopene and cryptoxanthin, a xanthophyll
-    numerous phenolic pigments (phenols) associated with antioxidant properties
Select examples given below are for 100 grams of dried berries.

-    Calcium. Wolfberries contain 112 mg per 100 gram serving, providing about 8-10% of the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI).
-    Potassium. Wolfberries contain 1,132 mg per 100 grams dried fruit, giving about 24% of the DRI.
-    Iron. Wolfberries have 9 mg iron per 100 grams (100% DRI).
-    Zinc. 2 mg per 100 grams dried fruit (18% DRI).
-    Selenium. 100 grams of dried wolfberries contain 50 micrograms (91% DRI)
-    Riboflavin (vitamin B2). At 1.3 mg, 100 grams of dried wolfberries provide 100% of DRI.
-    Vitamin C. Vitamin C content in dried wolfberries has a wide range (from different sources) from 29 mg per 100 grams to as high as 148 mg per 100 grams (respectively, 32% and 163% DRI).
Wolfberries also contain numerous phytochemicals for which there are no established DRI values. Examples:
-    Beta-carotene: 7 mg per 100 grams dried fruit.
-    Zeaxanthin. Reported values for zeaxanthin content in dried wolfberries vary considerably, from 2.4 mg per 100 grams to 82.4 mg per 100 grams to 200 mg per 100 grams. The higher values would make wolfberry one of the richest edible plant sources known for zeaxanthin content. Up to 77% of total carotenoids present in wolfberry exist as zeaxanthin.
-    Polysaccharides. Polysaccharides are a major constituent of wolfberries, representing up to 31% of pulp weight.
Commercial products marketed outside Asia
Typical of many exotic fruits being introduced into western food and beverage commerce, wolfberry is best known as a juice marketed over the Internet since 2002, often via multi-level marketing that asserts its health benefits. There is an increasing presence in health food stores and grocery markets in many countries of wolfberry. While juice prepared entirely from fresh wolfberries is rare blends containing several other berry and fruit juices are used for nearly all "wolfberry" juice products, many of which are nevertheless labeled as "goji juice". The percentage of wolfberry contained in these juices is generally not stated on the labels of such products.
Other wolfberry consumer applications are
- Dried berries
- Berry pieces in granola bars  
- Skin soap (made from seed oils)
- Yogurt products
Commercial suppliers have processed wolfberry as
- An additive for manufacturing
- Juice concentrate
- Whole fruit purée
- Pulp powders
- Whole or ground seeds  
- Powders from juice or juice concentrate made from spray drying
- Seed oils (as with grape seed oil), and essential oils (derived from seeds)

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Superfruit: Cranberry

Cranberries are a group of evergreen dwarf shrubs or trailing vines in the genus Vaccinium subgenus Oxycoccos, or in some treatments, in the distinct genus Oxycoccos. They are found in acidic bogs throughout the cooler parts of the Northern Hemisphere.
Cranberries are low, creeping shrubs or vines up to 2 m long and 5 to 20 cm in height; they have slender, wiry stems that are not thickly woody and have small evergreen leaves. The flowers are dark pink, with very distinct reflexed petals, leaving the style and stamens fully exposed and pointing forward. They are pollinated by domestic honey bees. The fruit is a berry that is larger than the leaves of the plant; it is initially white, but turns a deep red when fully ripe. It is edible, with an acidic taste that can overwhelm its sweetness.
Cranberries are a major commercial crop in certain American states and Canadian provinces. Most cranberries are processed into products such as juice, sauce, and sweetened dried cranberries, with the remainder sold fresh to consumers. Cranberry sauce is regarded an indispensable part of traditional American and Canadian Thanksgiving menus and European winter festivals.
Since the early 21st century within the global functional food industry, there has been a rapidly growing recognition of cranberries for their consumer product popularity, nutrient content and antioxidant qualities, giving them commercial status as a "superfruit".
About 95% of cranberries are processed into products such as juice drinks, sauce, and sweetened dried cranberries. The remaining 5% are sold fresh to consumers. Cranberries are normally considered too sharp to be eaten plain and raw, as they are not only sour but bitter as well.
Cranberry juice is a major use of cranberries; it is usually either sweetened to make "cranberry juice cocktail" or blended with other fruit juices to reduce its natural severe tartness. Many cocktails, including the Cosmopolitan, are made with cranberry juice.
Usually cranberries as fruit are cooked into a compote or jelly, known as cranberry sauce. Such preparations are traditionally served with roast turkey, as a staple of English Christmas dinners, and the Canadian and US holiday Thanksgiving. The berry is also used in baking (muffins, scones and cakes). Less commonly, innovative cooks use cranberries to add tartness to savory dishes such as soups and stews.
Fresh cranberries can be frozen at home, and will keep up to nine months; they can be used directly in recipes without thawing. Cranberry wine is made in some of the cranberry-growing regions of the United States from either whole cranberries, cranberry juice or cranberry juice concentrate.
Nutrients and antioxidant capacity
Cranberries have moderate levels of vitamin C, dietary fiber and the essential dietary mineral, manganese, as well as a balanced profile of other essential micronutrients.
By measure of the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity with an ORAC score of 9,584 units per 100 g, cranberry ranks near the top of 277 commonly consumed foods in the United States.
Nutrients in raw cranberries, Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 46 kcal | Sugars, total 4.04 g
Fiber, total dietary 4.6 g (15.3%)
Calcium 8 mg (0.8%) | Magnesium 6 mg (1.9%)
Manganese 0.15 mg (7%) | Phosphorus 13 mg (1.9%)
Potassium 85 mg (1.8%) | Sodium 2 mg (0.1%)
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid 13.3 mg (16%)
Vitamin A 60 IU (9%) | Vitamin K 5.1 μg (6.4%)
Carotene, beta 36 μg | Lutein + zeaxanthin 91 μg
Cranberries are a source of polyphenol antioxidants, phytochemicals under active research for possible benefits to the cardiovascular system and immune system, and as anti-cancer agents.
Cranberry juice contains a chemical component, a high molecular weight non-dializable material (NDM), as noted above, that is able to inhibit and even reverse the formation of plaque by Streptococcus mutans pathogens that cause tooth decay. Cranberry juice components also show efficacy against formation of kidney stones.
Raw cranberries and cranberry juice are abundant food sources of the anthocyanidin flavonoids, cyanidin, peonidin and quercetin. These compounds have shown promise as anti-cancer agents in in vitro studies. However, their effectiveness in humans has not been established, and may be limited by poor absorption into cells and rapid elimination from the blood.
Since 2002, there has been an increasing focus on the potential role of cranberry polyphenolic constituents in preventing several types of cancer. In a 2001 University of Maine study that compared cranberries with twenty other fruits, cranberries had the largest amount of both free and total phenols, with red grapes at a distant second place. Cranberry tannins have anti-clotting properties and may reduce urinary tract infections and the amount of dental plaque-causing oral bacteria, thus being a prophylaxis for gingivitis.
Anti-adhesion properties
There is potential benefit of cranberry juice consumption against bacterial infections in the urinary system. Research shows that an effect occurs from a component of the juice inhibiting bacterial attachment to the bladder and urethra.
Although promising for anti-bacterial activity, long-term consumption of cranberry juice has only limited evidence for beneficial effects against urinary tract infections in women. It has also been observed to have a relaxing effect, reducing stress. Similar applications have not been successfully proven in other clinical trials of consuming cranberry juice or tablets by people with spinal cord injury associated with bladder catheterization, neurogenic bladder or infrequent urination, any of which may be associated with increased susceptibility to bacterial infections.

Cranberry juice
Cranberry juice is the juice of the cranberry. Commercially, it is sold in either as a pure juice, which is quite tart, or, more commonly, as cranberry juice cocktail, mixed with water and sugar or an artificial sweetener (such as aspartame or sucralose), or in blends with other juices, such as apple or grape. These may also be blended with other juices or flavors.
Cranberry juice cocktail is sometimes used as a mixer with alcoholic drinks such as a Cape Cod (1+1/2 ounces of vodka to 4 ounces cranberry juice) or non-alcoholic drinks such as the Bog Grog (2 parts Chelmsford Ginger Ale [or regular ginger ale] to 3 parts cranberry juice).

Health benefits
Cranberry juice is known to have various health benefits. These include:
·    Cranberry juice contains phytochemicals, which may help prevent cancer and cardiovascula disease.
·    Cranberry juice may help prevent and relieve the symptoms of urinary tract infections by primary and secondary means. The primary means works on the bacteria directly by altering the molecular structure of the fimbriae on the pathogenic strains of the bacteria that cause the infections. The secondary means works indirectly on the bacteria by changing the intravesical pH (the pH of the bladder's contents) making it more acidic.
·    Cranberry juice is high in oxalate, and has been suggested to increase the risk for developing kidney stones, although more recent studies have indicated it may lower the risk.
Although cranberry juice may help prevent growth of bacteria, its pH may be as acidic as 2.3–2.52, which is more acidic than most soft drinks, which could potentially dissolve tooth enamel over time.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Superfruit: Blueberry

Blueberries are flowering plants of the genus Vaccinium (a genus which also includes cranberries and bilberries) with dark-blue berries and is a perennial. Species in the section Cyanococcus are the most common fruits sold as "blueberries" and are mainly native to North America. They are usually erect but sometimes prostrate shrubs varying in size from 10 centimetres (3.9 in) to 4 metres (160 in) tall. In commercial blueberry production, smaller species are known as "lowbush blueberries" (synonymous with "wild") and the larger species, are known as "highbush blueberries". The leaves can be either deciduous or evergreen, ovate to lanceolate, and 1–8 centimetres (0.39–3.1 in) long and 0.5–3.5 centimetres (0.20–1.4 in) broad. The flowers are bell-shaped, white, pale pink or red, sometimes tinged greenish.
The fruit is a berry 5–16 millimetres (0.20–0.63 in) diameter with a flared crown at the end; they are pale greenish at first, then reddish-purple, and finally indigo when ripe. They have a sweet taste when mature, with variable acidity. Blueberry bushes typically bear fruit in the middle of the growing season: fruiting times are affected by local conditions such as altitude and latitude, so the height of the crop can vary from May to August depending upon these conditions.
The genus Vaccinium has a circumpolar distribution with species in North America, Europe and Asia. Many commercially sold species whose English common names include "blueberry" are currently classified in section Cyanococcus of the genus Vaccinium and come predominantly from North America. Many North American native species of blueberries are now also commercially grown in the Southern Hemisphere in Australia, New Zealand and South American countries.
Several other plants of the genus Vaccinium also produce commonly eaten blue berries such as the predominantly European bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), which in many languages has a name that means "blueberry" in English.
Blueberries are sold fresh or processed as individually quick frozen (IQF) fruit, purée, juice or dried or infused berries which in turn may be used in a variety of consumer goods such as jellies, jams, blueberry pies, muffins, snack foods and cereals.
Blueberry jam is made from blueberries, sugar, water, and fruit pectin. Premium blueberry jam, usually made from wild blueberries, is common in Maine, Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia.
Blueberries have a diverse range of micronutrients, with notably high levels (relative to respective Dietary Reference Intakes) of the essential dietary mineral manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K and dietary fiber. One serving provides a relatively low glycemic load score of 4 out of 100 per day.
Nutrients and phytochemicals
Blueberries, raw : Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 239 kJ (57 kcal) | Carbohydrates 14.5 g
Dietary fiber 2.4 g | Fat 0.3 g | Protein 0.7 g
Vitamin A 54 IU | Lutein and Zeaxanthin 80 μg
Thiamine (Vit. B1) 0.04 mg (3%)
Riboflavin (Vit. B2) 0.04 mg (3%)
Niacin (Vit. B3) 0.42 mg (3%)
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.1 mg (2%)
Vitamin B6 0.1 mg (8%) | Folate (Vit. B9) 6 μg (2%)
Vitamin C 10 mg (17%) | Vitamin E 0.6 mg (4%)
Calcium  6 mg (1%) | Iron  0.3 mg (2%)
Magnesium 6 mg (2%) | Phosphorus 12 mg (2%)
Potassium 77 mg (2%) | Zinc 0.2 mg (2%)
Manganese 0.3 mg (20%) | Vitamin K 19 mcg (24%)
Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient database
Especially in wild species, blueberries contain anthocyanins, other antioxidant pigments and various phytochemicals possibly having a role in reducing risks of some diseases, including inflammation and certain cancers.

Research on the potential anti-disease effects of blueberries

Researchers have shown that blueberry anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, resveratrol, flavonols, and tannins inhibit mechanisms of cancer cell development and inflammation in vitro. Similar to red grape, some blueberry species contain in their skins significant levels of resveratrol, a phytochemical.
Although most studies below were conducted using the highbush cultivar of blueberries (V. corymbosum), content of polyphenol antioxidants and anthocyanins in lowbush (wild) blueberries (V. angustifolium) exceeds values found in highbush species.
At a 2007 symposium on berry health benefits were reports showing consumption of blueberries (and similar berry fruits including cranberries) may alleviate the cognitive decline occurring in Alzheimer's disease and other conditions of aging.
A chemical isolated from blueberry leaves can block replication of the hepatitis C virus and might help to delay disease spread in infected individuals.
Feeding blueberries to animals lowers brain damage in experimental stroke. Research at Rutgers has also shown that blueberries may help prevent urinary tract infections.
Other animal studies found that blueberry consumption lowered cholesterol and total blood lipid levels, possibly affecting symptoms of heart disease. Additional research showed that blueberry consumption in rats altered glycosaminoglycans which are vascular cell components affecting control of blood pressure.
A study soon to be published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that supplementation with wild blueberry juice enhanced memory and learning in older adults, while reducing blood sugar and symptoms of depression.
Marketing of Blueberries as a Superfood (Antioxidant Properties)
Based on the promising research discussed above, magazines and newspapers have recently begun to hail blueberries as a superfood. Example: an article in the July 2010 issue of Chatelaine magazine mentions the blueberry as a food that can increase the body's natural ability to heal.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Superfruit: Acai Berry

The Acai palm (Euterpe oleracea) is a species of palm tree in the genus Euterpe cultivated for their fruit and superior hearts of palm.  Its name comes from the European adaptation of the Tupian word '[fruit that] cries or expels water'. Global demand for the fruit has expanded rapidly in recent years, and acai is now cultivated for that purpose primarily. The closely-related species Euterpe edulis (jucara) is now predominantly used for hearts of palm.
Eight species are native to Central and South America, from Belize southward to Brazil and Peru, growing mainly in swamps and floodplains. Acai palms are tall, slender palms growing to 15–30 meters, with pinnate leaves up to 3 meters long.
Acai (pronounced ah-sah-EE) berry is the fruit of the Acai palm, a small, round, black-purple drupe about 1 inch (25 mm) in circumference, similar in appearance but smaller than a grape and with less pulp, is produced in branched panicles of 500 to 900 fruits. Two crops of fruit are produced each year. The fruit has a single large seed about 0.25–0.40 inches (7–10 mm) in diameter. The exocarp of the ripe fruits is a deep purple color, or green, depending on the kind of acai and its maturity. The mesocarp is pulpy and thin, with a consistent thickness of 1 mm or less. It surrounds the voluminous and hard endocarp, which contains a seed with a diminutive embryo and abundant endosperm. The seed makes up about 80% of the fruit (Schauss, 2006c).
The berries are harvested as food. In a study of three traditional Caboclo populations in the Brazilian Amazon, acai palm was described as the most important plant species because the fruit makes up a major component of their diet, up to 42% of the total food intake by weight.
In the northern state of Para, Brazil, acai pulp is traditionally served in gourds called "cuias" with tapioca and, depending on the local preference, can be consumed either salty or sweet (sugar, rapadura, and honey are known to be used in the mix). Acai has become popular in southern Brazil where it is consumed cold as acai na tigela ("acai in the bowl"), mostly mixed with granola. Acai is also widely consumed in Brazil as an ice cream flavor or juice. The juice has also been used in a flavored liqueur. Since the 1990s acai juice and extracts are used globally in various juice blends, smoothies, sodas, and other beverages.
Recently, the Acai berry has been marketed as a dietary supplement. Companies sell Acai berry products in the form of tablets, juice, smoothies, yogurt, instant drink powders and whole fruit.  
Nutritional content
A powdered preparation of freeze-dried acai fruit pulp and skin (Opti-acai, K2A, Inc.) was  reported to contain (per 100 g of dry powder) 533.9 calories, 52.2 g carbohydrates, 8.1 g protein, and 32.5 g total fat. The carbohydrate portion included 44.2 g of dietary fiber and low sugar value (pulp not sweet). The powder was also shown to contain (per 100 g): negligible vitamin C, 260 mg calcium, 4.4 mg iron, and 1002 U vitamin A, as well as  aspartic acid and glutamic acid; the amino acid content was 7.59% of total dry weight.
The fat content of acai consists of oleic acid (56.2% of total fats), palmitic acid (24.1%), and linoleic acid (12.5%). Acai also contains beta-sitosterol (78–91% of total sterols). The oil compartments in acai fruit contain polyphenols such as procyanidin oligomers and vanillic acid, syringic acid, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, protocatechuic acid, and ferulic acid, which were shown to degrade substantially during storage or exposure to heat.
Polyphenols in raw materials
A comparative analysis from in vitro studies reported that acai has intermediate polyphenol content and antioxidant potency among 11 varieties of frozen juice pulps, scoring lower than acerola, mango, strawberry, and grapes.
A powdered preparation of freeze-dried acai fruit pulp and skin was shown to contain  anthocyanins (3.19 mg/g); however, anthocyanins accounted for only about 10% of the overall antioxidant capacity in vitro. The powdered preparation was also reported to contain twelve flavonoid -like compounds, including homoorientin, orientin, taxifolin, deoxyhexose, isovitexin, scoparin, as well as proanthocyanidins (12.89 mg/g), and low levels of resveratrol (1.1 μg/g). A study on another different freeze-dried acai product (Opti- Acai) reported that the formulation contained much lower levels of anthocyanins, proanthocyanadins, and other polyphenol compounds as compared with blueberries and other antioxidant-rich fruits.
In an in vitro study of different acai varieties for their antioxidant capacity, a white one displayed no antioxidant activity against different oxygen radicals, whereas the purple variety most often used commercially had antioxidant activity against peroxyl radicals and to a lesser extent peroxynitrite but little activity against hydroxyl radicals
Freeze-dried acai powder was found to have antioxidant activity in vitro against superoxide (1614 units/g) and peroxyl radicals (1027 μmol TE/g) and mild activity for peroxynitrite and hydroxyl radicals. The powder was reported to inhibit hydrogen peroxide -induced oxidation in neutrophils, and to have a slight stimulatory effect on nitric oxide production by lipopolysaccharide -stimulated macrophages in vitro. These results, however, apply only to in vitro conditions and remain unknown for whether they are physiologically relevant. Rather, more subtle, non-antioxidant roles in vivo are likely.
Extracts of acai seeds were reported to have antioxidant capacity in vitro against peroxyl radicals, similar to the antioxidant capacity of the pulp, with higher antioxidant capacity against peroxynitrite and hydroxyl radicals.
Antioxidant potential of juice
When three commercially available juice mixes containing unspecified percentages of acai berry juice were compared for in vitro antioxidant capacity against red wine, tea, six types of pure fruit juice, and pomegranate juice, the average antioxidant capacity was ranked lower than that of pomegranate juice, Concord grape juice, blueberry juice, and red wine. The average was roughly equivalent to that of black cherry or cranberry juice, and was higher than that of orange juice, apple juice, and tea.
A study in 12 healthy fasted human volunteers demonstrated that blood antioxidant capacity was increased within two hours after consumption of a commercial acai berry juice beverage or applesauce, but did not investigate any physiological effect of these supposed antioxidants. The generation of reactive oxygen species was not significantly affected by acai berry juice consumption.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Superfood/Superfruit Definition

Superfood is a term sometimes used to describe food with high phytonutrient content that may confer health benefits as a result. For example, blueberries are often considered a superfood (or superfruit) because they contain significant amounts of antioxidants, anthocyanins, vitamin C, manganese, and dietary fiber.
The term is not in common currency amongst dieticians and nutritional scientists, many of whom dispute the claims made that consuming particular foodstuffs can have a health benefit. There is no legal definition of the term and it has been alleged that this has led to it being over-used as a marketing tool.
Superfruit, a marketing term first used in the food and beverage industry in 2005, refers to a fruit which combines exceptional nutrient richness and antioxidant quality with appealing taste that can stimulate and retain loyalty for consumer products. Some popular fruits like strawberries, blackcurrants, blackberries or oranges are not commonly mentioned as superfruits despite excellent nutritional properties, apparently because they have not been marketed specifically as superfruits.
Keys to marketing a successful superfruit product include the native fruit qualities, scientific evidence supporting a potential health benefit, marketing, protection of intellectual property and developing an appealing strategy to attract consumers. Combined in the right way, these elements may allow a fruit to achieve "critical mass" as a superfruit.
To date, superfruits have been developed mainly as juices, but began in 2007 to appear as single piece products or as ingredients for functional foods, confectioneries and cosmetics. Current industry development includes applications for creating novel consumer products, such as energy drinks, dietary supplements, and flavors with nutrient qualities, e.g. fortified water.
In 2004, the term superfoods was popularized by a best-selling book discussing 14 whole foods with extraordinary nutrition. One – the blueberry – became known as a superfruit when its exceptional antioxidant properties were revealed by publication of United States Department of Agriculture assays on antioxidant strength, the oxygen radical absorbance capacity or ORAC for 100 common foods. Wild blueberries ("lowbush", Vaccinium angustifolium) were at the top of the 2004 rankings for fruit. By refinement of the ORAC assay and new analyses published in 2006-7, other berry fruits such as wolfberry (goji berry), elderberry and cranberry, have superseded blueberries on the antioxidant rankings, attention possibly caused by growing consumer demand for superfruits.
Indicating industry enthusiasm for novel product development, superfruits have been called "the future of health", "fruits of the future" "superheroes of functionality" and "heroes in the natural food marketplace". More than a dozen industry publications on functional foods and beverages have referred to various exotic or antioxidant species as superfruits with estimates for some 10,000 new product introductions in 2007–8.
DataMonitor includes the superfruit category as one of the top 10 global trends in consumer products for 2008.

Commonly mentioned superfruits
Format: common name, botanical name, main country(ies) of origin supplying the commercial market
-    Acai (Euterpe oleracea), Brazil, Venezuela
-    Blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium and Vaccinium corymbosum), North Europe, Russia, Canada (Nova Scotia, Quebec, British Columbia), United States (Maine, New Jersey, Michigan), Chile
-   Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon), North Europe, Russia, United States (Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Oregon, Washington, New Jersey), Canada (Quebec, British Columbia), Chile
-    Goji berry (wolfberry, Lycium barbarum), China
-    Grape (red, Vitis vinifera), parts of central Asia, Europe (native), United States (California)
-    Mango (Mangifera indica), Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, South Pacific
-    Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana), Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia)
-    Noni (Morinda citrifolia), Southeast Asia, Australia
-    Pomegranate (Punica granatum), Mediterranean Region, United States (California)
-    Sea-buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides), Asia, Europe
Apples (Malus domestica), oranges (Citrus sinensis), tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) and common berries, such as strawberries (Fragaria vesca), red raspberries (Rubus idaeus) and blackberries (Rubus ursinus) used for a large number of consumer products, achieve many of the criteria to be superfruits. They are, however, commonly known in the public and have not attracted interest as novelty ingredients, so are not usually included in industry reports as superfruits.

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