Black raspberry confections which have been used in clinical trials are now being sold at the Bloch Café at the James Cancer Hospital. Created by the “Crops to the Clinic” multidisciplinary research team at Ohio State, these black raspberry confections contain bioactive compounds from approximately eight fresh black raspberries berries and have been designed as a delicious way to increase fruit in the diet. These products are currently being studied for potential health benefits. All profits help support further research at Ohio State.
Soy Baked Goods
CAFFRE researcher Dr. Yael Vodovotz has developed a baking blend containing soy flour that results in baked products containing soy protein and isoflavones. Researchers have studied physical properties, taste, antioxidant activity, and isoflavone levels, profile, and metabolism. New research is investigating the ability of the soy baked products to modulate prostate cancer. A variation of soy bread that contains vitamin D has been created to examine the effect of a combination of isoflavones and various levels of vitamin D on prostate cancer biomarkers. Researchers including Dr. Ken Riedl, Dr. Steven Schwartz, Dr. Yael Vodovotz, and Dr. Steven Clinton propose the combination of soy isoflavones and vitamin D will result in enhanced levels of vitamin D in vivo, and this is now being studied in a mouse model.This study will be the first to show impact on bioavailability and metabolism of the combination of soy isoflavones and vitamin D from a whole food in an animal model. This critical data is essential for translation to a dietary intervention in a human clinical trial. In addition to loaf bread, the soy baking blend has also been combined with safflower oil to create a soft pretzel. This is being used to examine the effect on diabetes and breast cancer in obese, menopausal women. This study looks at the impact of the pretzel snacks on blood lipid and glucose levels to gain understanding on how menopausal women with metabolic syndrome digest and absorb foods with safflower oil on its own and when combined with soy.
CAFFRE researchers, including Dr. Steven Clinton, Dr. David Francis, Dr. Steven Schwartz, Dr. Neal Hooker, and Dr. Yael Vodovotz received both USDA and NIH funding to study tomato products containing soy. They took the project through the entire product development process, from growing a tomato with an ideal carotenoid profile, developing a functional beverage with optimal sensory qualities and phytochemical levels, verifying the absorption of the ingested compounds, evaluating acceptability of the product in the market, evaluating markers of blood lipids and antioxidant status through a clinical trial in healthy people, and evaluating prostate cancer biomarkers in men with prostate cancer. The soy-fortified tomato juice is well tolerated, contains phytochemicals that are readily absorbed, improves blood lipid levels and antioxidant status, and slowed PSA doubling time (a biomarker of prostate cancer progression). A unique variety of tomato, the tangerine tomato, is currently being examined in a clinical trial to determine if its unique form of highly bioavailable lycopene is more efficacious than lycopene from the typical red tomato.
Preliminary studies performed by CAFFRE researchers suggest black raspberries may reduce oral cancer tumor incidence. The team received first a $1M grant from the American Cancer Society and more recently a $3.8M grant from the National Cancer Institute to continue this research, led by Dr. Christopher Weghorst, Dr. Purnima Kumar, Dr. Steven Schwartz, and Dr. Steven Clinton. Black raspberry confections and nectars have been developed using freeze-dried black raspberries. These products allow the use of the whole berry rather than the juice only, and allow extended contact time with the oral tissue. The black raspberry nectar is currently being studied in smokers and nonsmokers, where a systems biology approach is being taken to study the impact of black raspberries on oral genomics, proteomics, transcriptomics, and metabolomics.