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Questions about Superfruits

What is the definition of a Superfruit?

A Superfruit is a fruit that has been shown to yield credible health benefits.

Who came up with this definition?

This definition has been created by Dr Derek Stewart of the Scottish Crop Research Institute (SCRI) based on a study of the referenced scientific literature related to fruit and health studies and arose from a frustration surrounding the current use of the term superfruit.

What is the SCRI?

SCRI is Scotland’s leading institute for research on plants and their interactions with the environment. SCRI’s vision is to deliver innovative products, knowledge and services that enrich the life of the community and address the public goods of sustainability and high quality and healthy food.

What evidence is there to suggest that British Blackcurrants are the No.1 Superfruit?

Blackcurrants have a remarkable composition containing many components that, via rigorous scientific analysis, are shown to be beneficial to health. This analysis has been incorporated into the superfruit wheel which allows you to compare the nutrient compositions of some of our most commonly consumed fruit. More information can be found at www.superfruits.org

What is the superfruit wheel?

The wheel has been created as a result of the research analysis. It allows you to compare nutrient compositions of some of our most commonly consumed fruits.

Where can I get hold of a superfruit wheel?

There is a limited number of wheels available, however you can log on to www.superfruits.org to apply for one.

How can I find out more about the research that has been done?

You can visit the website - www.superfruits.org to find out more information about the wheel and the research behind it.

What makes British blackcurrants think they are the Number 1 Superfruit?

The term ‘superfruit’ has lost credibility due to unsupported use. Dr Derek Stewart and his team at the SCRI have undertaken a review of the credible scientific literature (from all over the world) focussed on the interactions between health, disease, fruit and its components. As a result, the blackcurrant comes out well/top in many respects. The results can be seen on the superfruit wheel that has been created based on these findings. It allows you to compare selected fruits. More information can be found at www.superfruits.org

How has this been quantified - what makes them a Superfruit?

We believe that to be deemed a ‘superfruit’ it must be substantiated and one credible way of doing this is by showing scientifically credible health benefits. In this case we have used peer-reviewed/referenced scientific papers. More information can be found at www.superfruits.org

What research has been carried out?

We have spent some time analysing the existing scientific literature in many highly regarded scientific journals and collated their broad conclusions on a comparative health benefit basis. More information can be found at www.superfruits.org

Who carried out the research?

The research was independently carried out by the Scottish Crop Research Institute (SCRI). How recently was the research carried out? The data is current and up to date. However, it should be noted that these comparisons are only valid between fruits represented here. As more fruit are added, the relative health benefits of the fruit may change. Similarly as new biomedical research emerges the relative health benefits of the fruit may change.

Are they an independent research body or are they funded? If so by who?

They are a completely independent and objective body, who have multiple sources of funding including the Scottish Executive, research Councils, the Food Standards Agency and the EU amongst many others.

Are British Blackcurrants the best fruit that you can eat?

There will never be a ‘best’ fruit. People are different, so their requirements will vary. However, we suggest that according to our assessment of the scientific literature, blackcurrants regularly appear to help inhibit the advance or reduce the effects of many of the chronic and degenerative diseases and provide a high nutritional input. We wouldn’t however recommend just eating blackcurrants - variety is important!

Do British Blackcurrants retain their Superfruit status even when cooked/frozen/blended, etc?

Many of the components remain unchanged which highlights the versatility of this fruit.

Where can I buy British blackcurrants?

British blackcurrants are available all year round in a number of juices, squashes and smoothies and they are also available frozen. They are in season to be bought fresh in July and August.

What about food miles?

Are British blackcurrants better because they don’t travel as far as foreign imports? British blackcurrants are grown throughout the UK and are available nationally throughout the season. Locally grown blackcurrants will have spent less time travelling from the fields to the shops as opposed to imported blackcurrants.

What about blackcurrants from other parts of the world - can they also be classified as Superfruits?

The research looked at blackcurrants generically and a number of the studies do not make a distinction about provenance. However, the British blackcurrant is of a very high quality as they are bred for their deep colour, which means they are packed with health promoting antioxidants called anthocyanins.