Making U.S. Cranberries a Part of Changing Global Food Preferences and Overall Healthier Food Choices

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On the heels of a very busy 2013 in Asia, the U.S. Cranberry Marketing Committee wrapped up its “Asia Crimson Splash” tour as bronze sponsor at the 2013 Worlds of Healthy Flavors ASIA® leadership conference to highlight the versatile year-round culinary applications of U.S. cranberries.

cranberry rubbed chicken panini with cran-rosemary aioli

'The idea that cooking 'healthy' involves a trade-off with flavor and enjoyment is considerably outdated when one considers the cranberry.' ~ Michael Rosenblum, Executive Chef in Residence of U.S. Ambassador to China

Presented by The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and Harvard School of Public Health – Department of Nutrition, along with Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore and Health Promotion Board, Singapore, the two-day conference focused on a highly targeted audience of approximately 180 attendees from the restaurant, hotel, institutional catering, food manufacturing, government, and nutrition industry sectors, as well as invited media.

“As cranberries become more and more recognized internationally for their culinary versatility, we also want to make sure that US cranberries are a big part of the dialogue about how healthy food choices can prevent diet-linked chronic diseases,” said Scott J. Soares, Executive Director, CMC. “U.S. cranberries should be a part of food preferences that blend both taste and well-being.”

“With a foundation of the most current nutrition research, the critical task then becomes one of culinary strategy, said Greg Drescher, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Industry Leadership for The Culinary Institute of America. “More than ever, we need a spirit of creativity and discovery tied to deep knowledge of technique and flavour to meet the considerable diet-linked health challenges we face.”

Over the course of the two-day conference, CMC bronze sponsors distributed U.S. cranberry literature and dried cranberry fruit samples at their informational booth. The Executive Chef in Residence of the U.S. Ambassador to China, Michael Rosenblum, highlighted both the berry’s savory as well as sweet culinary applications with two of his many signature dishes featuring US cranberries: a cranberry rubbed chicken Panini with cran-rosemary aioli served at the reception and a cranberry country bread demonstrated on stage.

"As professional chefs, it's our responsibility to remain aware of changing market trends and preferences. Placing greater emphasis on the quality of our food choices and how they impact health and well-being isn't a new concept, but the relevant food service professional is always looking for innovative ways to respond to that demand. The idea that cooking 'healthy' involves a trade-off with flavor and enjoyment is considerably outdated when one considers the cranberry."

The unique conference format seamlessly combined in-depth research about important health issues affected by diet, innovative methods through which such knowledge can be applied in the kitchen, and what it all means from a business and consumer standpoint. The program also included a number of panel discussions on key nutrition topics with decision-making representatives of foodservice operations from various industry sectors in Singapore.

The top ten points emphasized by organizing partners in their Principles of Healthy Menu Research & Development at the Worlds of Healthy Flavors Asia:

1)    Think strategically about flavor and world cuisines.
2)    Focus on fruits and vegetables first.
3)    Increase use of good plant-based oils, eliminate trans fats, and substantially reduce saturated fats.
4)    Increase options for healthier protein choices, adding fish, nuts, and legumes.
5)    Emphasize good carbohydrates – especially “intact” whole grains.
6)    Look for opportunities to reduce salt and sodium in food preparation.
7)    Provide a wider range of calorie and portion-size options.
8)    Leverage small measures of indulgence for maximum, creative impact.
9)    Share nutrition information with customers as appropriate.
10) Engage in a long-term process of discovery to better understand the art and science of healthy menu research and development.

Said Soares, “Ultimately it is up to the consumer to make healthy food choices on a day to day basis and to that end this 10-point guide serves as an excellent roadmap for anyone involved in the food industry.” He added, “Both the nutrient make-up of cranberries and the almost limitless ways in which cranberries can be applied in the kitchen naturally align cranberries to the guide.”

About the Cranberry Marketing Committee (CMC)
The CMC was established as a Federal Marketing Order in 1962 to ensure a stable, orderly supply of good quality product. Authority for its actions are provided under Chapter IX, Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations, referred to as the Federal Cranberry Marketing Order, which is part of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended. This Act specifies cranberries as a commodity that may be covered, regulations that may be issued, guidelines for administering the programs, and privileges and limitations granted by Congress. For more information about the CMC, visit or follow @uscranberries and Cranberry Cravers on Facebook.

About The Culinary Institute of America
Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is an independent, not-for-profit college offering bachelor's and associate degrees, as well as certificate programs, in the culinary arts and baking and pastry arts. As the world's leading culinary college, the CIA has a network of more than 46,000 alumni that includes many industry greats. The college has campuses in New York (Hyde Park), California (St. Helena), and Texas (San Antonio) and Singapore. In addition to its degree programs, the CIA offers courses for professionals and food enthusiasts, as well as wine education. The Industry Leadership division organizes nearly a dozen programs and initiatives annually on the subjects of flavor, world cuisines, and health and wellness.

About the Harvard School of Public Health
Harvard School of Public Health is dedicated to advancing the public’s health through learning, discovery and communication. More than 400 faculty members are engaged in teaching and training the 1,000-plus student body in a broad spectrum of disciplines crucial to the health and well being of individuals and populations around the world. Programs and projects range from the molecular biology of AIDS vaccines to the epidemiology of cancer; from risk analysis to violence prevention; from maternal and children’s health to quality of care measurement; from health care management to international health and human rights.

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Anna Waclawiczek
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