Cancer-Fighting Candy

Find out how a tasty black raspberry confection could help join the fight against cancer.
Karin Heineman, ISTV Executive Producer

(Inside Science TV) – In the war against cancer, there's lots of ways to help your body fight it off.  Broccoli and spinach can help reduce your cancer risk, but if veggies aren't your thing, food scientists have created a candy treat that may help fight some cancers.

“Instead of buying this type of candy that you usually buy, you just buy these [candies] that potentially have these health benefits to them," said Yael Vodovotz, a food scientist at the Ohio State University in Columbus.

The candies are made from black raspberries, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may halt tumor growth. But the berries are seasonal and can be hard to find in stores, so, a berry candy could make the antioxidants more easily available.

“We want things that you should be able to eat year round, especially if we’re looking at prevention strategies for various diseases,” Vodovotz said.

Scientists freeze-dried and ground black raspberries into a powder to help preserve the cancer-fighting nutrients, then made gummy candies and a concentrated juice drink, each equal to about a cup of fresh berries.

Vodovotz explained, “Our main goal was to see how well absorbed were some of these chemicals, or these good nutritive compounds in the black raspberries."

The candies have been used in prostate cancer clinical trials. Researchers hope to see if the candies, plus different diets, work to help prevent the disease.

“It’s a way of including more fruit into their diet because they’re made from whole fruit," said Vodovotz.

Researchers hope to have the candies and concentrated juice available to consumers within the year.

Get Inside The Science:

Candy May Join Fight Against Cancer

Yael Vodovotz, Ohio State University

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Karin Heineman is the executive producer of Inside Science TV.