13 Apr 2017 --- Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has granted approval to companies listing cranberry oligomeric proanthocyanidins (PACs) content on their labels, but only if those PACs are derived from whole fruit cranberry. The TGA’s labeling rule is significant because it now sets high quality standards for the cranberry industry, and makes it easier for Australian consumers to identify the most effective whole fruit cranberry products which contain both soluble and insoluble PACs.
“This ruling is a major step toward creating more verifiable standardization of quality and efficacy within the cranberry industry,” says Stephen Lukawski, Director of Sales and Business Development for Fruit D’Or Nutraceuticals. “It means the C-PAC reference standard which is developed by Complete Phyto Chemical Solutions LLC, along with the DMAC and butanol test methods used by Fruit d’Or to identify both soluble and insoluble PACs, have now been approved and recognized by the TGA.”
“As we understand, no government agency such as the TGA promotes or markets individual products. However the TGA acceptance of the butanol test and C-PAC reference standard to measure total PACs in whole fruit cranberry powder is encouraging news, as this presents opportunity for nutraceutical companies to educate consumers on the benefits of total PACs and communicate various test methods available to measure both soluble and insoluble PACs,” Lukawski adds.
The significance of the term “whole fruit”
“The TGA’s ruling will encourage many companies to start listing both soluble and insoluble PAC content on their labels for their whole fruit cranberry products. This is good news for the cranberry industry and consumers. That’s because whole fruit cranberry is significantly different from other cranberry products such as cranberry juice,” Lukawski explains. “When you remove anything from the cranberry, such as its juice, skin or seeds, or active components such as PACs, it is no longer a whole fruit. It is an extract. As important: When you spray juice concentrate onto cranberry powder made from just the skin and seeds, this is called a cranberry fruit extract. It is not a whole fruit cranberry powder.”
“Similarly, when you press the cranberry to obtain the juice and all that is left over is its skin and seeds, this is called pulp. Some nutraceutical companies are trying to sell this pulp as whole-fruit cranberry powder. This is wrong and very deceiving to consumers. Since most of the juice is removed and the cranberry pulp has been dried under high temperatures, there are very few phytonutrients remaining in this pulp. At Fruit d’Or, we usually sell this pulp as livestock feed. This type of mislabeling is misleading, wrong and dangerous to the credibility of our cranberry industry and consumers’ health and safety,” Lukawski says.
C-PAC reference standard and cranberry PAC test methods
The TGA labeling rule would not be possible without work recently completed by Complete Phytochemical Solutions CEO Christian Krueger.
Over the last few years, Krueger has introduced the butanol test method to measure insoluble PACs, which can only be found in whole fruit cranberry powder. He has also developed the C-PAC reference used for standardization purposes, now considered by leading experts in the cranberry industry to be the most accurate and reliable standard available to measure both the soluble and insoluble PACs found whole-fruit cranberry.
“New studies show that the new butanol test method and C-PAC reference demonstrate more accurate, consistent and reliable test results for both soluble and insoluble PACs found in whole fruit cranberry powders,” Lukawski adds.
For the identification of soluble PACs, most companies will continue to use the DMAC test method. But now companies can also use the butanol test method to promote total soluble and insoluble PACs on the labels of their cranberry products.
“It is important to note that the butanol is not the only test method that can be used to measure total PACs . The TGA is allowing the continued use of other test methods in whole fruit powder such as HPLC and DMAC, which companies can continue to use as there is no official universal test method that has been set by the TGA,” Lukawski says.
Our message to dietary supplement companies is to educate them that there are new test methods available to help generate greater sales: DMAC, the preferred method for quantification of soluble (extractable) PACs; and butanol, which is used to quantify insoluble (non-extractable) PAC.
“This butanol method, recently adopted by the Cranberry Institute, will not work on cranberry juice powders because there are no insoluble PACs found in cranberry juice powders or cranberry cocktail juice,” Lukawski notes.
Therefore, cranberry juice powder and cranberry fruit extract products sold in Australia will not be able to list their PAC content on their labels. Every cranberry supplier will now have to submit their cranberry powder for evaluation to the TGA to be approved as whole fruit cranberry powder. According to Lukawski, not all cranberry is the same and not all quality is the same. The TGA news will be a game changer for the cranberry industry as it will help eliminate some of the lower standard quality cranberry products in the dietary supplement market.
“It is our hope that other countries will now begin to follow as the TGA is recognized as one of the world leaders in establishing stringent quality standards for the botanical industry,” Lukawski says.
Next steps toward global standardization of PACs in whole fruit cranberry
Lukawski hopes that the TGA’s action will soon be replicated in North America. “For the cranberry industry to raise the bar of quality and help prevent adulteration, we need to communicate a strong regulatory definition of whole fruit cranberry. By following the TGA, we can now standardize the definition of whole fruit cranberry and create standardization of PACs because we now have the verification tools available. In my opinion, if we are to help stop adulteration, and protect the health and safety of consumers, we have to educate others on the definition of what a whole cranberry fruit is. A cranberry extract product that promotes itself as whole fruit cranberry powder by definition is just another form of adulteration.”
Source: Nutrition Horizon