The natural health products sector is rapidly expanding and there is high demand for pulp and seed oils of wild berries for use in cosmetic and functional food products.

But in order for new products to be developed, some vital information is necessary, such as accurate data on the chemical components of the berries and fruits and market intelligence.

With this information, health product companies could develop quality control parameters and optimal post-harvesting technologies and expand their markets.

With support from IAF, Natures Formulae Health Products (a Kelowna-based manufacturer and developer of natural health products) undertook a study to determine the nutraceutical properties of BC wild berries and small fruits, producing data on 23 berry and fruit samples.

The results of the study helped them to develop and commercialize a variety of new products (including a skin care line and two beverages) and outlined several challenges and possible solutions to the commercialization of wild berries in BC.

“This project was a lot of work, but really opened many doors for us in the community, with local growers and co-ops,” says Barbara Johnston, founder of Natures Formulae. “This project has been of great benefit to us because we better understand how berries work and what they can contribute to the products.”

Funding for this project was provided through the Agri-Food Futures Fund, Food and Beverage Processing Initiative (AF014 A207).