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Wowser! The industry has a little spat going on….

5 Dec

I haven’t been posting lately, because I have been following a little development in the industry surrounding remarks Ocean Spray said at a meeting in Paris.  Here is the link….you will want to watch it:

In this piece, Tom Jones of Ocean Spray reports that Ocean Spray has undertaken research with Complete Phytochemical Solutions to “fingerprint” a cranberry and develop a standard for cranberries.  Those of you that are members of United Cranberry know that a  year ago, we contracted with these exact same researchers (Amy Howell, Jess Reed and Christian Krueger) to fingerprint a cranberry and develop a standard.  You may remember Christian reporting to a meeting of growers we had in Stevens Point at cranberry school in January of this year.   The work we funded is complete and ready to go to peer review and then to print in food science journals after the first of the year.  After talking to our researchers, it seems that OS is going to take our work the next step, which is to commercialize the standard test…meaning they are going to figure out how to take our lab test and make it work for everyone.

You might think that we would be pretty upset that Ocean Spray looks like it is taking over the project…and calling it their own.  Actually, I embrace it….it is about time that Ocean Spray get on board and support what needs to be done.  There needs to be an agreed upon test that identifies cranberry content.  As a grower, we want to define what a cranberry is and then we want to be able to tell if there is actually cranberry in a product.   While I realize that not everyone wants these tests and standards for the reason,  I agree with what OS is doing…just not how they are going about it.

We have an industry organization that handles the research end of things for us, and that is the Cranberry Institute.  Ocean Spray and many handlers are members of the CI.  The CI is the correct place for the coordination of this research.  We (United Cranberry) started at the CI before we started our project and we would welcome their leadership in (finally) getting an enhanced test for PAC.

If you don’t think there is a little friction on this…check this out:

We are sending the CI a letter asking them to take on a leadership role in organizing and promoting this research.

As always, I’m not the scientist here….so if I haven’t said things in exactly the right way, consider the source.  The intent is honest!