Dr. Vodovotz's Black Raspberry Confections: Concept to Commercialization

Dr. Yael Vodovotz, a professor of Food Science and Technology and a member of the "Crops to the Clinic" multidisciplinary research team, has been studying the health effects of black raspberries since 2009.  Her interest in this unique fruit began when her team was approached by scientists from the Ohio State Comprehensive Cancer Center, challenging her to create a “super-food” that could fight against cancer.
Black raspberries, a fruit primarily grown in the Pacific Northwest but also in Ohio, is often referred to as the “king of berries” because of the well-documented high antioxidant capacity and ability to effect tumor growth. 
With support from the Food Innovation Center and the Center for Clinical and Translational Science, Dr. Vodovotz and her collaborators (Dr. Christopher Weghorst, Dr. Steven Schwartz and Dr. Steven Clinton) met this challenge head on. Her team created novel, black raspberry-based nectars and confections that could withstand the rigors of a large-scale cancer prevention trial and showed promise in the prevention of certain cancers.
While successfully completing human clinical trials using these novel products, Dr. Vodovotz and her team fully grasped the challenges of a diet-based intervention. Creating a commercially available black raspberry confection became a top priority.

Black raspberry confections are created by freeze drying black raspberries, which helps preserve the essential nutrients, and then grinding the whole berry — fiber, seeds and fuzz — into a fine powder. The powder is used to create a gel filling. It is 100 percent fruit and contains approximately eight fresh black raspberries. After the gel filling is finished, it is dipped in a candy coating or chocolate.
With the help of the Food Innovation Center and Drew Patterson, culinary director for nutrition services at the Wexner Medical Center, Dr. Vodovotz designed chocolate boxes, partnered with a local chocolatier, and worked through many contract agreements with OSU Purchasing, OSU Trademark and Licensing, OSU Technology Commercialization Office, and the Wexner Medical Center.
After years of working to commercialize the confections, the black raspberry chocolates are now being sold at the Bloch Café and other BistrOH! locations at The James Cancer Hospital. Bloch Café is located on the 14th floor of The James.

All profits directly support further functional food research at Ohio State.

FIC at FNCE '16

Check out the FIC members participating in panel discussions at FNCE!

Bob Murray
Room: 052 AB
Sunday, October 16, 2016: 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Rosemary Riley
Room: 153 ABC
Sunday, October 16, 2016: 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM (Please note the time change)

Sarah Rusnak
Room: 160 ABC
Monday, October 17, 2016: 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Jeff Volek
Room: Grand Ballroom East
Tuesday, October 18, 2016: 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM

New Faculty Seminar Series

The Food Innovation Center is dedicated to growing and supporting the food and health network of faculty across campus. In that capacity, we are launching a new faculty lecture series featuring recently hired professors.

New Faculty Seminars will take place from 12:00-1:00 PM in room 120 in the Parker Food Science Building.

October 20 - Cäzilia Loibl, Ph.D.; Associate Professor, Human Sciences

November 10 - Leah Bevis, Ph.D.; Assistant Professor, Sustainable Food and Farm Policy

December 1 - Farnaz Maleky, Ph.D.; Assistant Professor, Food Science & Technology

View the full schedule and details here.

2016 Cook and Connect at The Kitchen

The Food Innovation Center recently hosted the third annual Cook and Connect at The Kitchen event, a participatory dining experience at The Kitchen in German Village, Ohio. Attendees took part in a team building experience while preparing a three-course meal. This unique event connected several new collaborators and highlighted the important role the FIC plays in building the food research network at Ohio State. Thanks to all who attended!

Click here to view more pictures of the event.

Food Waste Conference & Webinar

The OSU Food Waste Collaborative held the “Harnessing Consumers and Communities to Help Meet U.S. Food Waste Reduction Goals” conference, webinar and networking event on August 26, 2016. The goal of the event was to convene ​those ​interested ​in ​reducing ​and ​redirecting ​food ​waste ​in ​their ​own ​communities and create opportunities for networking and collaboration. The Food Innovation Center provided both monetary and in-kind support to the OSU Food Waste Collaborative to further the success of this event.

The ​morning ​sessions featured ​national ​and ​local ​experts who ​shared ​emerging ​insights ​into ​current ​trends ​and ​best ​practices ​on how ​consumers ​and ​communities can ​reduce ​food ​waste ​and ​divert ​food ​waste ​from ​landfills ​in ​support ​of ​the ​United ​States’ ​first-ever ​national ​food ​waste ​reduction ​goals. The afternoon provided an opportunity for attendees to interact with local experts, national experts, and other participants who shared similar organizational objectives.

Topics discussed including the role of consumers and communities in meeting food waste reduction goals, shaping household behavior to meet community food waste goals, food waste diversion options for communities, overcoming barriers to food waste diversion programs, and beginning baseline household food waste data collection. The agenda, presentations and, eventually, the webinar recordings of morning speakers are available at The OSU Food Waste Collaborative is evaluating feedback from participants to decide upon future events to help this nascent community of practitioners and researchers.

For more information on the event or to learn about the current activities of the OSU Food Waste Collaborative, please contact Brian Roe ( or Brian Estabrook ( 

Upcoming Events

  • New Faculty Seminar Series
    12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
    Ongoing throughout fall semester in Parker Building, room 120

  • CIFT Member Session
    9:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

    November 3, 2016 at the Culinary Vegetable Institute in Milan, Ohio  

Do you have an event you'd like to include in the FIC newsletter? Send it to

Support the Food Innovation Center

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Food Innovation Center  |  The Ohio State University  |  |  Tel (614) 292-0229  |

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