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Kentucky Blackberry Research Company to Improve Oral Health with BerryCare Toothpaste Gum

Lexington, Kentucky (PRWEB) June 14, 2013

Four Tigers LLC, a Kentucky blackberry research & development company, is partnering with Kroger to distribute a new toothpaste gum which has tangible benefits derived from Kentucky’s state fruit. BerryCare Toothpaste Gum, a dietary supplement made with the all-natural blackberry ingredient, provides important nutrients while keeping the mouth, teeth and gums in good condition, thanks to the company’s creative exploration of blackberry technology and effects.

Within the Mid-South Division, BerryCare Toothpaste and Quick Energy Gums are now available in 162 Kroger stores throughout Kentucky, Northern Tennessee and parts of Indiana. BerryCare Toothpaste Gum can be found in the oral care aisle at your local Kroger. Kroger is also distributing BerryCare’s Quick Energy Gum, which contains 40 mg of caffeine as a safe and healthy alternative to energy drinks.

Paige Shumate Short, CEO of Four-Tigers, together with her business partner Dr. Russell J. Mumper, began their journey to explore the key beneficial properties of blackberries over eight years ago when they co-founded the company. Short’s father, the late Wayne Shumate, and her mother, Kay Shumate, raised blackberries on their family- owned Windstone Farms in Nicholas County. Windstone Farm’s blackberries, now grown on Short’s farm, in Bourbon County, lobbied passage of the bill in 2004 to name the blackberry the state fruit of Kentucky.

Short, like her father, has a vision that someday blackberries will be an important alternative crop for Kentucky farmers. Kentuckians could be at the forefront to supply a key ingredient in nutrition and health products as well as for use in important new medicines according to Short. “It’s ironic that the same Kentucky land that was once known for growing cancer-causing tobacco can now grow blackberries that are beneficial to good health,” she said. “Now and then, while walking through the patch, I pause for a moment just to appreciate the respect I have for this amazing little berry,” said Short. “

The National Institute of Health and the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation Matching Funds Program have provided Four Tigers LLC the opportunity to research and develop a pipeline of products to deliver the blackberries’ health benefits to consumers while also pursuing the botanical drug registration pathway with the FDA. The grants have assisted in advancing the science and developing commercial products for BerryCare.

“We have been working in various aspects of the blackberry technology for years now to investigate the nutritional and health benefits of blackberries - from developing methods to extract the potent components of the berries, stabilizing these components, conducting laboratory analyses of their effects, to creating the formulations taking advantage of what has been discovered to date. Our collective data are very exciting,” said Mumper, President and Chief Scientific Officer at Four Tigers LLC. The company plans further studies of blackberry benefits and a future human drug clinical study is planned at the University of Kentucky to investigate potential oral health application of the berry components on the pathway to having a botanical drug. ”Previous studies" suggest in the laboratory that the berry components may reduce the activity of bacteria known to cause inflammation leading to gingivitis and periodontal disease” said Mumper. Research regarding the benefits of blackberries with Four Tiger’s scientists and collaborators are published in multiple scientific peer reviewed journals.

For more information regarding BerryCare please contact Cassady Brown at 859-281-0071, 859-553-2969 or visit

  • Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R42DE018839. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

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