Crofter's Organic Just Fruit Spread Organic Black Currant - 10 oz. (283g)
Crofter's Organic Just Fruit Spread Organic Black Currant is laden with polyphenols and vitamin C. Fragrant black currants, better known in France as "cassis", have a distinct, tart flavor. This European shrub berry is uncommon to North America, but once you've enjoyed a warm, buttery biscuit lathered with their Black Currant Just Fruit Spread, they think it'll be your new favorite.
- Certified Organic
- A Gluten Free Food
- High fruit content of selected fruit varieties
Just Fruit Spreads
All seven of their Just Fruit Spreads are made with 100% fruit ingredients using concentrated organic grape juice as a sweetener. Crofter's Organic source their concentrate from an Italian winemaker who understands both the art and science of working with grapes. Although producing a high-quality fruit-juice-sweetened spread can be technically challenging, our Sicilian grape master's methods yield a concentrate that gives their fruit spreads a perfect texture and spreadability - without compromising color and flavor. All of their Premium Spreads and Just Fruit Spreads contain one-third fewer sugars than standard fruit jam.
Crofter's Organic Questions & Answers
How are antioxidants measured?
The potency of an antioxidant is typically measured in terms of its "oxygen radical absorbance capacity," or ORAC. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports ORAC values per 100 grams of food and recommends about 5,000 ORAC units per day. Most people average around 1,000. According to the USDA, blueberries have an ORAC rating of 6,552 while strawberries rate 3,577.
How/when does Crofter's measure antioxidants?
While some companies rely on suppliers and outside laboratories to ensure the ORAC values of their ingredients, Crofter's take the measurements in their own lab using a state-of-the-art testing device called a microplate fluorometer. Not only do they monitor the quality of their raw ingredients, but they also measure the ORAC values of their finished products. Their own lab tests have shown that just one tablespoon of Crofter's Superfruit Spreads has an ORAC rating similar to that in one medium carrot or banana-enough to rank in the "high" antioxidant category, according to industry standards.
What are GMOs?
GMOs (or "genetically modified organisms") are organisms that have been created through the gene splicing techniques of biotechnology (also called genetic engineering, or GE). This relatively new science merges DNA from different species, creating combinations of plant, animal, bacteria and viral genes that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.
Virtually all commercial GMOs are bred to withstand direct application of herbicide and/or to produce an insecticide. Despite biotech industry promises, none of the GMO traits currently on the market offer increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any other consumer benefit. Meanwhile, a growing body of evidence connects GMOs with health problems, environmental damage and violation of farmers' and consumers' rights.
What's an anthocyanin?
Anthocyanins are naturally occurring plant chemicals which are part of the class of Polyphenols (antioxidants) known as Flavonoids. Anthocyanins are found in many berries and fruits including blueberries, red grapes and pomegranates. If a fruit or berry is purple, blue or red, chances are it contains anthocyanins. Researchers are currently working to verify the potential health benefits which have been reported for these compounds.
What's the bear all about?
Well, a few things:
- They're Canadian. Bears are pretty much their animal spirit.
- Bears love berries almost as much as we do.
- Bears pick the best berries, not unlike Crofter's Organic.
- They both store fruit for the winter. Croter's use jars; bears use an extra, insulating layer.
- They find him to be quite charming.
What's the link between antioxidants and organics?
Emerging research is showing organic foods to contain higher levels of antioxidants than those grown with pesticides. A recent science review conducted by The Organic Center indicated that organic foods have approximately one-third higher antioxidant content than their conventionally grown counterparts.
Does Crofter's test for Bisphenol A (BPA)?
There has been renewed concern about Bisphenol A (BPA) residues in foods due to the presence of BPA in food packaging. In January 2010, both The New York Times and the Washington Post reported that the FDA has expressed concern about the health risks of BPA. In a study of 2000 people, BPA was detected in the urine of 90% of the participants. BPA could be present in the seal material attached to the underside of metal caps to form an air-tight seal between the cap and the glass jar. Since Crofter's uses metal in the caps on their jars, they opted to have their fruit spreads tested in 2009 by an independent laboratory and test results indicate that their products contain no detectable BPA residues. Crofter's tested fresh, 6 months old, and 15 months old product to simulate maximum potential exposure. In all cases BPA residues were reported as less than 1 part per billion (1 part per billion is the lowest level which the laboratory can measure with current methods).
How long will an opened jar of spread last after it is opened?
The expiry code on the cap is only valid for a sealed jar. Once the jar is opened, there is no way to predict how long it will last. For maximum product life:
- Keep the opened jar in the refrigerator
- Use only clean cutlery to take jam out of the jar
- Keep the lid on the jar even when it is on the breakfast table
The cap on my jar did not make the *pop* sound when I opened it. The product inside looks okay. Is it still okay to consume the product?
No! The cap should always made a definite *pop* the first time a jar is opened. If there is no *pop*, then the cap seal has failed and the product can spoil.
Do their products contain corn?
There are no corn ingredients in Crofter's products. Citiric acid can be made form corn through a fermentation process, however the manufacturer assures that there is no trace of corn remaining in the citric acid.
Do their products contain gluten?
No. All items are gluten free.
Understand Your Jam
Jams and jellies; preserves and conserves; fruit spreads and butters and marmalades, oh my! These are just some of the terms associated with preserved fruit products. It's a real wonder that something as simple as preserved fruit could be so complicated.
According to convention and common knowledge...
- Jelly - Just the juice, nothing but the juice. And sugar. No seeds, whole berries or chunks of fruit. Clear and well-jellied.
- Jam - Crushed, pureed or chopped fruit cooked down with sugar. A soft, chunk-free pulp.
- Preserve - Chopped or whole fruit cooked with sugar until a syrupy base able to suspend the fruit chunks develops.
- Conserve - A preserve amde with more than one fruit, often including raisins and nuts. Sometimes a conserve refers to a more thickly-stewed preserve.
- Fruit Spread - A recent addition to the jam aisle, fruit spreads began as reduced-calories products made with alternative sweeteners and fruit juice concentrates.
- Fruit Butter - Fruit purees slowly cooked down with sugar, lemon juices and spices to a smooth, soft consistency.
- Marmalade - A soft, typically citrus-based jelly. The sweet jelly balances the bitterness of the citrus peels, which are included along with the fruit pulp.
According to the FDA...
In the United States, some jam- and jelly-related terms are regulated and some are not. Regulated products and product names include Jam, Preserve, Jelly and Fruit Butter:
This means that products with these names have to conform to certain specifications and recipes. For instance, a product called "Jelly" must contain at least 65 percent water soluble solids (sugar) and must be made with fruit juices or concentrates. "Preserves" and "Jams" (interchangeable FDA terms), must contain at least 65 percent sugar and 45 percent fruit. If a product does not meet these requirements, it must be called by another name. For example, Crofter's Fruit Spreads are only 44 percent sugar, so they can not label them "Jams" or "Preserves."
One of the defining specifications for jams and related products is the total sugar content. This includes the sugar present in the fruit and the sugar added through cane sugar or concentrates and syrups. This is often referred to as "soluble solids" or "Brix." For example, if 10 grams of sugar are added to 90 grams of water, the resulting 100 grams of sugar solution are said to have a Brix of 10 or a soluble solids content of 10% (i.e. 10% sugar by weight). Similarly, a fruit preserve should have a Brix measurement of 65 (or 65% sugar by weight = 65 grams of sugar in 100 grams of preserve).
At Crofter's, They Prefer Their Product Nonstandardized
Premium Spread: 44 Brix, 50%+ fruit content
Their Premiums Spreads are produced in the same manner as jams and preserves, but contain less sugar and more fruit. The sugar used in these products is cane sugar. They can not put "Jam" or "Preserve" on the jar, because this product does not conform to the FDA's specifications for "Jam" or "Preserve."
Just Fruit Spread: 44 Brix, almost 100% fruit ingredients
Their Just Fruit Spreads also contain only 44% sugar. The sugar used in these spreads comes from white grape juice concentrate instead of the cane sugar used in their Premium Spreads. These spreads contain fewer calories per serving than jams and preserves (so do their Premium Spreads, though!).
Superfruit Spread: 44 Brix, LOTS of fruit
These blends are their lowest sugar product. Absolutely loaded with antioxidant-rich fruits, these spreads are sweetened with fair trade cane sugar.
About Crofter's Organic
Crofter's Organic has been making organic fruit products on the shores of the Georgian Bay in Parry Sound, Ontario, for 20 years now. They produce an extensive line of organic fruit spreads, conserves and jellies that are distributed in both natural and conventional channels throughout the U.S. and Canada. Gerhard and Gabi Latka founded Crofter's in 1989 after emigrating from Germany with an old jam kettle in tow (aka Sputnik). Gerhard's jam-making philosophy - "be serious about keeping it simple" - is undoubtedly a legacy from his father who founded a world-class food flavor house when Gerhard was a boy. Two decades after moving to Canada, Crofter's is the largest organic jam manufacturer in North America.
In addition to their traditional jam flavors, they manufacture a number of unique flavors including Sicilian blood orange, mango and pomegranate. Their Crofter's Superfruit Spreads are packed with exotic fruits such as Chilean maqui berries and yumberries from subtropical China. Crofter's is particular about every single ingredient in its fruit products. Their organic blueberries are wild harvested near Lac Saint-Jean north of Quebec. They use heritage fruit varieties like Senga Sengana strawberries, Willamette raspberries and morello cherries for their full flavor profiles and dark, rich color.