Established in 2007, Cuddybridge Apple Juice, winners of Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards 2012 (Food Service), is an artisan company producing hand-pressed varietal apple juice straight from apples all year round. All their juices are squashed by hand and do not contain any flavourings, water, stabilisation agents, colourings or E numbers. Their products are pressed to order and contain nothing other that 100% pure apple juice. They currently wholesale to around 100 customers including: Harvey Nichols, Peter’s Yard; The Scottish Café and Restaurant; and Monachyle Mhor.

  • The Brief
  • The Research
  • The Outcome
  • The Impact

The company’s aim has always been to make the best varietal apple juice that is available on the market. They have a successful strategy to produce single varieties but have not created blended juices. If they are to expand they need to bring new products to market. Cuddybridge approached Queen Margaret University to help them develop a new all Scottish apple juice drink using apples, and sea buckthorn which has excellent antioxidant properties. They needed to establish if the combination of apple and sea buckthorn would create a new product which would complement and enhance their existing range.

Initially research was undertaken to provide a literature review of the health benefits of sea buckthorn. This information was used to inform subsequent work which involved the academic team at Queen Margaret University conducting tests to determine the mineral content of the combined Cuddybridge Apple and Sea Buckthorn Juice and also investigating the antioxidant and total phenolic profile of the blend to establish how the levels compared to that of apple juice alone. In addition microbiological analysis of the combined juice was conducted to establish the shelf life of the combined product. Further research was undertaken to develop new recipes using the juices to extend the company’s existing range of products.

The results showed that the Cuddybridge Apple Juice when combined with sea buckthorn produced a juice which contained antioxidants, vitamins and polyphenols at levels greater than found in apple juice alone. Tasting sessions confirmed the juice’s palatability suggesting that the product would achieve consumer acceptance. A number of sea buckthorn recipes were developed which included: sea buckthorn jelly; sea buckthorn smoothie; sea buckthorn sorbet/ ice cream; and sea buckthorn curd.

The client was delighted with the collaboration with Queen Margaret University:

“As a small producer we do not have the funds or the ‘reach’ to understand fully the science of what is happening with our food processes. Universities have a huge reservoir of knowledge and ability which now is becoming much more available to artisan producers. Cuddybridge came to Queen Margaret University to try to understand the facts about sea buckthorn, as well as looking at specific problems regarding production of a new apple and sea buckthorn mix. With their help and understanding of the science coupled with a realistic and practical approach we have gained, not only a comprehensive report about this emerging food source but ways to bring the product to the market. For too long the gulf between academia and small producers was huge, but thankfully, no longer.”

Graham Stoddart, Owner, Cuddybridge Apple Juice

The impact of the research from an academic perspective:

“We were delighted to be able to work with Graham Stoddart of Cuddybridge on the development of their apple and sea buckthorn juice. The nutritional benefits of Scottish sea buckthorn berries have been of great interest to us at Queen Margaret University for many years. We were able to provide background information which helped Graham further appreciate the nutritional value of the berries and assist him in enhancing his website. We conducted shelf life and antioxidant analyses of his seasonal apple and sea buckthorn juice as well as providing recipes using his juices. A small tasting session was held which confirmed that Cuddybridge with help from Queen Margaret University could come up with sea buckthorn winners.”

Dr Mary Warnock, Senior Lecturer in Dietetics Nutrition and Biological Science, Queen Margaret University

Our practical innovation support and creative business solutions can help businesses with:

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  • Nutritional analysis, shelf life testing, consumer focus groups and taste panels.

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If your business could benefit from research support or business advice contact:

Miriam Smith, Research and Knowledge Exchange Unit

Tel: 0131 474 0000

Mobile: 07872 128 688

Business Support & Enquiries

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Business Support & Enquiries

Miriam Smith Innovation and Enterprise Manager 0131 474 0000
07872 128 688