Use whole fruit claim only where true, urges mangosteen company
mangosteen, is seeking to build awareness of the 'superfruit' and
is advocating the use of whole fruit claims only where they are
Mangosteen, dubbed the 'Queen of Fruits', is the fruit of a tropical evergreen tree found in southeast Asia. Its healthy reputation stems from the 40-odd xanthones - polyphenolic compounds that have been researched for their role in immune, joint and intestinal health - which are concentrated in the rind or pericarp, as well as flavonoids.
On account of its healthy profile, mangosteen has become renowned as a 'superfruit' - along with others such as pomegranate, noni, and many berries, all of which are tipped or growth this year as food formulators vie to deliver products that meet consumers' healthy demands.
XanGo claims the credit for building the use of mangosteen in the supplements market, but it is becoming an increasingly competitive sector, with comparisons being made between its nutritional profile an that of competitors such as Pure Fruit Technologies' MangoXan and Thai-Go.
As the category grows, XanGo believes that its reputation as a whole may be at stake if companies claim their products contain the whole fruit when in fact they are derived only from the pulp.
Chief marketing officer Gordon Morton told NutraIngredients-USA.com that misleading whole fruit claims are "a significant concern", and "many products" that claim whole fruit actually use powders - although did not provide figures to illustrate the depth of the problem.
He said that it is not so much a matter of seeking legal or regulatory recourse in the event of misleading claims, but "this is more about leadership and accountability."
"Whole fruit should mean usage of the complete mangosteen, pulp and rind, as nature intended. This is a consistent whole fruit definition we should all honor."
Whilst in theory he would have no issues with powders for use in supplements that replicate precisely the natural nutrient ratio of the whole fruit ("it really depends on how the power or extract is developed and implemented"), Morton said that, even so, such powders should not carry the whole fruit claim.
According to Morton, XanGo Juice is experiencing "tremendous growth in the US and internationally" - especially in Japan, the UK, Mexico and Australia.
"XanGo's objective is a billion-dollar threshold within 3-4 years," said Morton.
Datamonitor's ProductScan Online identified mangosteen as one of several antioxidant-rich fruits that, together, make up one of its top ten trends to watch in 2006. Director Tom Vierhile told NutraIngredients-USA.com that three food and beverage products were identified by the market researcher in 2005, compared to two in 2004 and one in 2003.
Whilst this indicates a trickle rather than a flood, he said that there is "some interest in the benefits of superfruits like mangosteen and pomegranate, so we are seeing companies turn these into headline products".
Moreover, it may be that some products containing mangosteen or mangosteen-derived ingredients were not picked up because of the way they were represented on the label.