Black raspberries—which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that seem to suppress tumors—were freeze-dried to preserve nutrients and ground into a powder before being reformulated into the gummy candies as well as a nectar. Each dose equals a cup of berries.
“There are places in the U.S. today—like the Appalachian region which has some of the highest cancer rates in America—that don't have regular access to fresh fruits and vegetables,” Vodovotz said. “This type of product could make a big difference supporting preventive health efforts where high-quality, fresh produce deliveries are rare or unpredictable.”
Using fresh berries in the trial would have been impractical since “variations in storage, seasonal availability, absorption—these things can all change disease-fighting substances in fresh produce,” Vodovotz said.
Patients liked the candies so much they wanted more. “Most of the participants inquired about ordering the gummies after they had completed their prescribed dose,” said Kristen Roberts, a nutrition Ph.D. candidate who's working on the study.