Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

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In a previous Blog, I profiled one of the global blackcurrant industry’s most respected researchers, Prof Mark Willems, of the University of Chichester in the United Kingdom.

Although most of Prof Willems work has focussed on blackcurrants and exercise physiology his latest published work looks at NZ Blackcurrant powder and support for healthy Blood sugar balance. This research has just been published in Functional Foods in Health and Disease 2017: 7 (7): 483-493.

The research used our Sujon Blackcurrant powder. The paper says that “regular intake of the powder may support healthy blood sugar balance in health individuals and recommends that “future work should examine the effects of regular intake of New Zealand blackcurrant.

In a future column, I’ll explain what conditions cause fruits and vegetables grown in New Zealand (especially blackcurrants grown in the South Canterbury and Motueka Nelson areas) to have a unique polyphenolic profile that may offer a range of significant human health values if included in the diet.

It is important for me to stress the following when I refer to research:

  • Research can be indicative of possible values to humans but most current research requires significant more trials before values are proven.
  • While research is being carried out people should simply enjoy blackcurrants as part of a balanced diet of many foods; especially fruits and vegetables.
  •  Our Sujon Blackcurrant powder is simply whole blackcurrants freeze dried, seeds removed, and then milled to a beautiful richly coloured powder. No additives!
  • No-one should use the above information in any way to treat themselves without discussing first with their medical professional.

Always read the label and use as directed. Supplementary to a balanced diet.

Gibb Holdings Nelson



3 cups frozen raspberries
1 frozen banana
½ cup coconut water
2 tablespoons of honey
Blend berries and banana with a high-speed blender until smooth, slowly add
coconut water and honey, while blending until you have a thick but smooth
Serve immediately. This is so delicious and refreshing!
Serves: 2
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: Nil


This recipe will make approx 12 rusks, depending on how big you make each one. You don’t have to use just mixed berries, you could substitute for apples, bananas or what ever mix you think will taste good! It’s also natural and healthy for your little one.

1 cup Rice Flour

1 cup Sujon Frozen Mixed Berries

A little water (only if needed)

– Mix all together to a stiff dough and add water if needed.
– Roll up into little rusks and place onto over tray.
– Bake at 150 C for 25 minutes.

TIP: you can use as a dipper for yogurt, hummus, advacado…


This is what the rusks look like after being cooked.

DID YOU KNOW… that blueberries are still a superfood after baking?

Blueberries are rich in health-giving polyphenols, and the best way to eat them is when they are fresh or frozen. However some don’t like the taste of this fruit, and so cook them, put them in the juicer or eat them in a muffin.

But what happens to the level of polyphenols when you do? Juicing or canning the berries reduce their polyphenol levels by 20 per cent, but only around 10 per cent is lost when you bake them or eat them in a muffin. Researchers aren’t sure why, but they think the yeast acts as a stabilizing agent that protects the polyphenols.

So there you go, still a healthy berry fruit with loads of nutritional value even once its been baked into a tasty muffin 🙂

Blueberries - Still a superfood even after baking! - Another articleSource: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2013; 131025155800004).

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Top UK Prize-fighter boxes with a Nelson-based sports powder water-bottle in his corner. - Another article

Source: George Vs Prince Arron.

When England’s George Hillyard takes a swig of water between rounds in his professional bouts he’s sipping water containing a unique Sujon Blackcurrant Powder from Nelson.

Known as ‘Hithard’, George Hillyard the former British Masters lightweight Champion and has his eye set on becoming one of the greatest boxers in modern history. Since going professional in 2005 his record stands at 10-5-1 and future goals are the Commonwealth title bouts.

George now trains and fights with the Sujon powder at his side. “I take it throughout the day and between rounds during fights, when it definitely helps my energy levels – I felt incredibly strong during my IBA fight in April and couldn’t believe how much better I felt physically during and after the 12 rounds. My nutritionist loves it and he, as well as my trainer, have noticed big changes with my weight loss, endurance, recovery and even mental concentration during training and competition,” says Hillyard.

The Sujon sports recovery powder is the result of 5 years development and research by the Nelson-based company. Research in NZ and Japan showed the potential for Nelson-Tasman grown blackcurrants to be great for health, helping combat the negative effects of physical stress, especially in contact sport, as well as improve mental acuity during stressful situations.

“As a result of the research we weren’t surprised at the positive effects noted by boxing champion George Hillyard,” says Sujon Sales Manager, Colin Stuart. “Our powder is also being used by endurance athletes in such sports codes such as Triathlon, ironman, cycling and with some leading ball sport teams both here in New Zealand and in the UK.”

Demand for the Sujon sport-recovery product has meant that a new sport-dose calibrated capsule is being released in November. Research combined with anecdotal support by our sports customer-base (including 5 world champion athletes) has shown what dose is most effective and how and when it should be taken, says Stuart.

Importantly for international sportspeople, despite its positive effects, the Sujon product is made from 100% pure and natural NZ-grown and processed blackcurrant berry fruit. It’s totally safe and drug-free, says Stuart.

For a list of stockists and more information visit

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This was originally published in metropol, Christchurch October 2013

Packed with antioxidant punch - Another articleThe diets of our forebears were filled with fruits, berries, vegetables and meats. While our knowledge and understanding of our health has certainly come a long way, our cave-dwelling compatriots were right about one thing – berries.

Long established folklore dating back many centuries records that berries were used for their claimed medicinal benefits in alleviating a wide variety of health conditions from sore throats, to cardiovascular conditions, relief of eye strain, cancers, benefits in the onset of ageing conditions and even in the treatment of urinary infections.

While such claims are being increasingly subjected to careful on-going scientific investigation and scrutiny, there are increasing reports to suggest very real health benefits can arise from consuming berryfruit. Better yet, there is a little super berry grown in our own little corner of the South Pacific which is making big waves in health circles.

New independent research suggests that Nelsons very own Sujon blackcurrants could be the number one Superfruit in the world, as the cultivated berry with the highest antioxidant count. This is due to the high intensity of natural UV light, a pristine environment, perfect growing conditions and unique varieties to New Zealand.

Packed with antioxidant punch, the nutrients in blackcurrants are said to flush out toxins and encourage oxygen into the blood, which increases energy levels, improves recovery time and gives you a general feeling of wellbeing. As one of the richest sources of blackcurrant polyphenols available, Sujon Blackcurrants outperform bilberry, acai, goji, pomegranate, grape seed, pine bark and blueberry in antioxidant potency.

On the back of this reBlackcurrants upclose with endssearch Sujon developed their blackcurrant fruit into a concentrated form that’s 100% natural and still contains the goodness of real fruit. Packed with essential minerals and nutrients a teaspoon of the Sujon Blackcurrant powder is the equivalent to a massive ¾ cup of berries.

Users have reported benefits from increased energy, greater muscle performance, faster recovery from physical exertion and training, improved vision, blood circulation, blood pressure and cholesterol, and a reduction of muscle and joint aches.

For a list of stockists and more information visit

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Opinion: This post was originally published on Stuff.

Japanese Film Crew on location with Sujon Boysenberry grower Glen Holland in his berry garden.

Japanese Film Crew on location with Sujon Boysenberry grower Glen Holland in his berry garden.

The struggling boysenberry industry has received a boost, with a Japanese company using fruit grown in Nelson as a key ingredient in a new eyesight health supplement.

It is thought to be the first time boysenberries, which are already used in folate supplements for pregnant women, have been used in such formulations.

It follows research done in Japan showing the fruit has 300 times the content of the naturally occurring polyphenol antioxidant ellagic acid than blueberries, which have been promoted as being good for eyesight.

The boysenberry-based capsule supplement is being marketed in Japan by Sunny Health Company using fruit grown by Glen and Maree Holland, of Tasman Bay Berry Company, and processed by Sujon at its factory in Tahunanui.

PREADING THE WORD: Sujon managing director John Gibb and Sue Gibb filmed in their factory for a media campaign in Japan.

SPREADING THE WORD: Sujon managing director John Gibb and Sue Gibb filmed in their factory for a media campaign in Japan.

Sujon managing director John Gibb said it represented an exciting new opportunity for the boysenberry industry which had been hit by the exit of two its largest growers, Ranzau Horticulture and Berry Fields, after several seasons of poor returns and bad weather.

It was good to find another use for the fruit after the industry had “taken a hiding”, losing about 80 hectares of vines, two-thirds of its exports and some of its customers.

It meant that Sujon was now responsible for about 80 per cent of boysenberry exports of about 500 tonnes to Britain, Asia, Australia and the Pacific.

There were signs of recovery, with four or five growers resuming planting and demand more compatible with supply, but it was still a long way from 30 years ago when he first began growing berries, he said.

“Then, there were 180 growers. Now, I doubt there are 30.”

The deal with Sunny Health Company, which had an annual turnover of more than $60 million, would initially take just 4 per cent of Sujon’s boysenberry volume.

But this had the potential to quickly grow, with others also interested in using the fruit as a health supplement, Mr Gibb said.

It would help move the industry away from being price takers.

Sunny had spent the last years doing trials and consumer acceptance tests before deciding to commercialise it, which was a big step forward.

“Our own brand is 25 years old and one of the things you learn is that having a good product with the science behind it is good, but it’s not worth anything unless you have a bucket of money to raise awareness and take it to the consumer.”

Mr Gibb said it spoke volumes that Sunny had last week sent a television crew to Nelson to take footage for a media campaign in Japan.

As well as filming at the Sujon factory, the crew had interviewed the Hollands, boysenberry breeder Harvey Hall, Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne, a former berry grower, and a host of other Nelsonians.

He understood that Sunny would make up a six-minute TV commercial on the supplement.

While the Sujon brand was not on the packaging, a photo of the Hollands’ berry farm was, he said.

“People are looking for safe food and they want to make a connection with the farmer.”

Mr Gibb said his company, which produces a wide range of frozen berry products, purees and powders, had been trading well, with sales up more than 20 per cent in the last year and growth across all its markets.

It showed that the berryfruit was becoming a regular part of more people’s diet.

“You don’t know if consumers have bought into the health benefits of berryfruit until a recession comes along and you find out whether you are a discretionary item or not.”

However, it was still tough getting the message across even in an established market like Japan, he said.

“It’s a big ask to expect the consumer to believe that food can deliver something that drugs traditionally have, even though the facts are backed by science.”

Sujon continued to look for equity partners to help promote and distribute its products, Mr Gibb said.

“We are talking to people, but startup capital is short on the ground in New Zealand,” he said.

United States berryfruit consumption was still tiny at 3.5 kilograms per capita a year, compared with apples, bananas and oranges at about 80kg to 90kg, although he was confident that the release of further scientific research conducted in conjunction with Japanese universities and companies, particularly into the health benefits of blackcurrants, would see this rise significantly.

Sujon already produces blackcurrant powders that are used by elite athletes, including the Tall Blacks, and horse breeders in Britain, the Middle East and Japan to improve muscle recovery and performance.

It also held other patents.

 Japanese film crew @ Local icecream shop in Nelson making a Sujon Berryfruit icecream..YUM :)

Japanese film crew @ Local ice cream shop, Berrylands in Nelson making a Sujon Berryfruit icecream..YUM 🙂

Over the next few years it expected to increase its exports from 20 per cent of its production to 80 per cent, he said.

It was concentrating on countries where exchange rates were not so volatile and on products that promoted berryfruit, rather than it being part of a mix.

The company was processing about 2500 tonnes of New Zealand and imported fruit a year, including 700 tonnes of blackcurrants and 600 tonnes of boysenberries, at its technologically advanced factory. It employed more than 20 staff, although that doubled during the berry season when it was freezing fruit 24 hours a day.


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Strawberries 1kg Bag

Buy your Sujon Strawberries & Rhubarb all year round! Find your nearest stockist here

You will need…
STRAWBERRY & RHUBARB PIE RECIPE - Another article• 2 cups Sujon Frozen Rhubarb
• Granny smith apple, peeled, cored, chopped
• 1/4 cup caster sugar
• 1 1/2 tablespoons cornflour
• 250g Sujon Frozen Strawberries, cut in halves
• Thick vanilla custard or ice-cream, to serve

For the pastry..
• 1 1/2 cups plain flour
• 2 tablespoons icing sugar mixture
• 125g unsalted butter, chilled, chopped
• 1 egg yolk
• 1 tablespoon chilled water

For the crumble..
• 2/3 cup plain flour
• 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
• 75g butter, chilled, chopped
• 1/2 cup dry-roasted hazelnuts, chopped
Make pastry: Process flour, sugar and butter until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add egg yolk and chilled water. Process until pastry just comes together, adding more water if necessary. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth. Shape into a 2cm-thick disc. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes or until firm enough to roll out.

Roll out between 2 sheets baking paper until 4mm thick. Line base and side of a greased 6cm-deep, 20cm (base) springform pan with pastry. Trim excess pastry (side should be about 3cm to 4cm high). Refrigerate, covered, for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, place rhubarb, apple and sugar in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 4 to 5 minutes or until rhubarb softens.
Place cornflour and 1 tablespoon cold water in a bowl. Blend until smooth. Add cornflour mixture and strawberries to pan. Stir to combine. Return to the boil. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until mixture thickens. Remove from heat. Cool.

Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan-forced. Place pan on a baking tray. Line pastry case with baking paper. Fill with ceramic pie weights or uncooked rice. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove paper and weights or rice. Bake for 7 minutes or until base is golden. Cool slightly.

Meanwhile, make crumble: Place flour, sugar and butter in a bowl. Using fingers, rub butter into flour until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in hazelnuts. Spoon strawberry mixture into pastry case. Top with crumble.
Bake for 25 minutes or until golden. Cool for 20 minutes. Serve with custard or ice-cream. YUM ;D

Sujon StrawberryImage STRAWBERRY & RHUBARB PIE RECIPE - Another articleFollow Us On Facebook

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Sujon Berries are available all year round. Tasty & healthy ;-) Visit to learn more about our Sujon Blackcurrant powder.

Sujon Berries are available all year round. Tasty & healthy 😉 Visit to learn more about our Sujon Blackcurrant powder.

Based on what is already known about the bioactive ingredients contained in New Zealand fruit – Blackcurrants and their physiological effects in humans, there appears to be several key areas within prevention, recovery and management of the disease of deep vein thrombosis – a health condition that would potentially benefit from supplementation with a New Zealand Blackcurrant derived product.

Deep vein thrombosis abbreviated to DVT is the formation of a blood clot (thrombosis) in a deep (tissue embedded) vein as occurs in the leg, pelvis and arm areas of the body. Minor symptoms include localised vein inflammation, redness and pain but by far the greatest complication of the disease is the potential for a formed clot to dislodge and migrate through the vascular system to the lungs creating a pulmonary embolism. When formed in the lower extremities of the body there is a 3% chance that the disease progresses into a fatal pulmonary embolism.

In the USA alone there is an annual incidence rate of 1 DVT case per 1000 persons with up to 100,000 deaths related to the disease.

There are believed to be three key mechanisms that enhance the opportunity of DVT occurring in an individual. These include trauma to blood vessel walls, decreased or compromised blood circulation, and an increased tendency for blood clotting.  Of particular interest with respect to a Blackcurrant product would be the relationship between DVT, decreased blood flow and the potential to improve blood circulation and reduce inflammation via Blackcurrant supplementation.

The main factor contributing to poor blood circulation in the general population is immobility such as occurs during:

–              medium to long term periods of bed rest associated with illness and hospital stays following surgery

–             restraint of broken limbs in casts or splints,

–              intense periods of confined sitting behind a desk at work or conversely during long distance travel including car, bus and long haul flights (where resulting DVT has been referred to as economy class syndrome).

Poor blood circulation is also a recognised complication of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and smoking.

Research studies into New Zealand Blackcurrant polyphenolic compounds indicate that the ingestion of New Zealand Blackcurrants can both improve blood circulation and aid in the reduction of factors associated with inflammation both potentially important physiologically processes in the prevention of DVT.

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The benefits are numerous, Chia seed one of the most powerful foods imaginable is said to increase brain power and body strength.

Another article - Chia an ancient Superfood RECIPEThe following recipe  makes approx. 2 litres and lasts a week. It’s used by Clifton boxers Nat Stuart and Dawn Dickey before and after training and they say it really helps with their energy levels and recovery.

RECIPE (So simple!)

1/2 cup Chia Seeds

3 cups water

6 Tablespoons Sujon Blackcurrant Powder Supplement



Mix half a cup of Chia Seeds with 3 cups of water and leave in fridge to set, mix 6 Tablespoons Sujon Blackcurrant Powder with warm water to make a smooth paste and then mix paste with Chia seeds, keep in fridge. A nutritional feed when you need ;D