HERE, Fleur Cushman, founder of Health Currancy (pictured, above) answers your questions about CurraNZ and what distinguishes it from copycat extracts, freeze-dried, frozen or fresh blackcurrant alternatives.
1. What is the difference between CurraNZ berries and blackcurrants grown in the UK or Europe?
Thanks to the strong ultra-violet light in New Zealand, CurraNZ blackcurrants, grown in the South Island, are amongst the most nutrient-dense in the world, with at least 1.5 times more anthocyanin than those grown in the UK and Europe.
Every capsule of CurraNZ is standardised to deliver a guaranteed dose of anthocyanin (105mg). This is broadly the fresh-fruit equivalent of a large handful of New Zealand blackcurrants - more if equated to British blackcurrants.
The benefits you receive are dependent on the dose, and the profile of the anthocyanins, which differ between cultivars.
2. Are all blackcurrants equal?
No. Blackcurrant varieties have different anthocyanin profiles and are developed for different applications.
Blackcurrants used for juices, squash (such as Ribena) and jams are bred for their quality, juice yield, aroma and flavour - and not their anthocyanin content. 90% of the British blackcurrant crop fit this brief and is sold to Ribena. To our knowledge, no varieties are grown in the UK for their 'functional food' application.
In contrast, the CurraNZ varieties are unique to New Zealand and have a higher anthocyanin concentration and specific profile that confers their functional food qualities as proven in our research.
4. Is a freeze-dried blackcurrant powder an alternative?
The research-backed benefits of CurraNZ are not only dose dependent, but variety dependent. With CurraNZ, you are guaranteed a standardised dose every time - which is important in order to receive the benefit you're taking it for.
Fresh, frozen or freeze-dried blackcurrants make a nice addition to your eating experience, but don't deliver a dose-controlled outcome. They will unlikely prove cheaper in the long run, given the quantities required to match what is delivered in every capsule of CurraNZ.
Then there's the practicality of eating large quantities of fresh or frozen fruit ... and the likelihood you'll spend more time on the loo.
3. What is the difference between CurraNZ and other blackcurrant extract supplements?
As a 35%-strength anthocyanin concentration, CurraNZ uses the highest potency New Zealand blackcurrant extract available, using a standardised proprietary formulation unique to our product.
If another product is cheaper, then it's for a good reason. Check the anthocyanin level - most extract supplements are 20%-strength powders that do not deliver a like-for-like dose.
Plus, as we have found, few are true to label and do not provide the advertised level of bioactives.
4. Are all blackcurrant extract supplements the same as CurraNZ?
No. Alarmingly, there are a lot of 'fakes' being produced, particularly out of China, where non New Zealand varieties and other fruits, with high pesticide residues exceeding acceptable limits, are used to produce sub-standard material.
As a result, the end finished products are not true to label and may be high in chemicals.
Because of this, 99% of extracts do not meet our exacting standards. We ensure a specificity of anthocyanin formulation that would be found in the pharmaceutical industry.
Our recent investigation turned up disturbing food safety and quality issues of products being marketed as 'New Zealand Blackcurrant Extracts', which revealed the murky reality of other raw material manufacturers. Full article here
5. How much fresh fruit goes into the CurraNZ extract?
We are one of the biggest end-users of New Zealand blackcurrants globally.
That's because of the sheer amount of the high-grade fresh fruit that is required to make our extract. Every kilo of powder requires between 100kg-150kg of fresh blackcurrants to deliver the standardised, specific proprietary blend we've developed for CurraNZ. And that doesn't come cheap.
6. On-the-go convenience with a three-year shelf life
Given the poor availability of fresh and frozen blackcurrants in the UK, and the variance in quality and label claims of other products, you can rest assured you are getting year-round convenience, top-notch quality and consistency in CurraNZ.
This is important - our customers know they'll enjoy the benefits as conferred in over 30 clinical studies, which and resulted in six prestigious international awards.
7. And finally, our research
Very few products you purchase 'off the shelf' are the same that's used in a high-performing and industry-defining program of research.
With over 30 health and active nutrition studies, CurraNZ stands apart for its gold-standard clinical evaluation, which has been praised and recognised by experts in Europe, Asia and the US. Our collection of awards speak for itself.
As pioneers in our 'space', we are committed to our science and unlocking the outstanding health and fitness benefits of the New Zealand blackcurrant - with no compromise on quality, efficacy, or safety in our product.