Ocean Spray has announced it will invest more than $10 million over the next five years to research the cranberry’s antimicrobial benefit.
The research will look into the role the fruit might play in helping to combat antimicrobial resistance. In addition, the cooperative will launch the Ocean Spray Cranberry Health Institute in 2018.
Besides helping consumers meet their recommended daily intake of fruit, Ocean Spray said the fruit may reduce the occurrence of certain infections in the urinary tract and stomach, ‘as more than 50 years of well-documented research has shown’.
To advance antibiotic stewardship education and training, the Ocean Spray Cranberry Health Institute has partnered with several third-party organisations, including the National Association of Directors of Nursing Administration (NADONA).
The institute will provide a new annual award recognising the most progressive antibiotic stewardship programme nationally and an antibiotic stewardship leader nominated by their facility.
Ocean Spray CEO Randy Papadellis said the cooperative is dedicated to finding ways to address global health issues.
“With antibiotic resistance on track to kill more people than cancer, the World Health Organization has called on government sectors and society to take action on this serious threat to global public health,” he said.
“We want to be sure that Ocean Spray does our part to look at all the components of this one-of-a-kind fruit and how it can contribute to whole-body health.”
Chief clinical officer of NADONA Hudson Garrett added: “Antimicrobial resistance is the biggest public health crisis facing us globally. For example, E. coli, the cause of many UTIs, is proving extremely resistant to fluoroquinolone antibiotics, the most commonly prescribed treatment.
“Identifying near-term solutions requires dedicated public-private partnerships like the new Cranberry Health Institute.”
To help the Ocean Spray Cranberry Health Institute best understand the important role cranberries can play in preventing disease and supporting health, research is already underway with a collaboration between the Broad Institute, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Washington University’s Center for Women’s Infectious Disease Research.
Ocean Spray is owned by more than 700 cranberry and grapefruit growers in the US, Canada and Chile. It employs more than 2,000 people and has almost 20 cranberry processing facilities.