Message from Sandy Purdy - President

Dear Membership,

First let me say thanks once again for the continued support you have shown through your membership fees.  Without these dollars we could not support the market awareness, website development, and the many research projects that we provide nominal funding towards.

Markets are building for Saskatoon berries. The buy local trend has had a big impact on Saskatoon berry orchards in general. More consumers are looking for locally grown fruit and vegetables. We have had an all time high in the number of hits on the website of people looking for who the growers are. So be sure you work with Jessica to give your orchard a professional image on the website and have a link to your own website if available. Pictures and stories welcome. Jessica attended the IFT 2016 tradeshow in Chicago and helped to promote Saskatoon Berries. There was over 10,000 attendees at the show with the majority of them being from large processing companies, R&D developers looking for new ingredients to introduce into product development. We know that the work we are doing in research of the health benefits of Saskatoon berries is having an impact when there are more frequent inquires coming in asking about Saskatoon berries. The purple report has been sent out to those companies asking about Saskatoon berries and to University Research inquiries as well. Remember if you want more of the hard copies of the Purple Report these can be purchased by dropping Jessica an email at (put your email address in here). This year we will be working with Dr. Jim Fang PhD from the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition to to conduct a placebo controlled, cross-over, 12 week study on the health effects of saskatoon berries in elderly volunteers. The project will study plasma, urine, and fecal samples to evaluate improvement in markers of oxidative stress, inflammatory status, gut barrier integrity, and fecal microbiota composition. The hypothesis is that saskatoon berries may have a polyphenol profile favorable for anti-inflammatory effects. The proposed project would develop effective evidence-based strategies to promote saskatoon berries as the few commercial fruits with anti-inflammatory effects. It would also justify funding development of new cultivars of saskatoon berries.