Would You Drink an All-Natural Berry Formulation to Boost Your Health? 

About the Study

Find out more and take the questionnaire

Want to learn more about the health benefits of blackcurrants? Blackcurrants pack a powerful punch in boosting your health and vitality. They help your body fight viruses and infections, and they may even help you develop antibodies that protect against the flu. If you’re someone who wants to be extra protected against the flu virus, this study might be for you!


Researchers from Plant & Food Research Ltd seek to investigate the effects of a blackcurrant-based formulation on healthy older adults. They aim to see if this formulation may help support the body’s natural response against the flu. If successful, this product can be taken before and after receiving the influenza vaccine to help provide you with extra protection against the flu virus.


*Your records relating to this study and any other information received will be kept strictly confidential.

Why Participate?

  • Participants may receive a new potential blackcurrant formulation at no cost.
  • Participants may boost their immune systems against the flu.
  • Participants will be contributing valuable information that may help researchers study the health benefits of blackcurrants.
  • Participants will be compensated up to $600 in vouchers as a token of appreciation for joining this study. 
  • Participants will be helping to advance research on boosting one’s immune system against the flu.

Who Can Participate?

  • Healthy people of any gender aged 50 and above
  • Must not have been vaccinated against the flu in 2021 and be willing to be vaccinated against the flu
  • Must not be allergic to blackcurrants and any medications
  • Must not have any chronic conditions that require treatment or medication
  • Must be able to attend 6 study visits at the research site over approximately 13 weeks

Key Study Details

The study team can explain the research in its entirety but some details are:

  • Participants who have not yet received the flu vaccine and are willing to be vaccinated will be given a flu vaccine at no cost. 
  • Please be advised that participants will no longer be able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine 2 weeks on either side of the flu vaccine. 
  • Participants will be randomly assigned into 1 of 2 groups. The first group will receive the study formulation, while the second group will receive a placebo.
  • Participants will be fed for 12 weeks with the blackcurrant based-formulation which will be consumed as a drink, with water added or a placebo.
  • Participants will be asked to provide blood samples.

Meet the Lead Researcher

Dr. Kerry Bentley-Hewitt

Dr. Bentley-Hewitt’s research focuses on understanding immune dysfunction and how dietary intervention may reverse immune dysfunction.

Study Details and Locations

Location 1:

Location 2:

Research site:  Plant & Food Research
Location 1: Palmerston North 4410, New Zealand 

Location 2: 120 Mount Albert Road, Mount Albert, Sandringham 1025, Auckland, New Zealand
Lead Researcher: Dr. Kerry Bentley-Hewitt
IRB Committee: This study has been reviewed and approved by the Northern B Health and Disability Ethics Committee 

About the Research Centre:

Plant & Food Research believe science can create a smart green future. Every day, Plant & Food Research has almost 1,000 people across Aotearoa New Zealand working with partners to deliver healthy foods from the world’s most sustainable systems.

Please note:

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the researchers would like to assure the participants that ensuring their and the study staff’s safety is of utmost importance.

Your Rights

  • If you decide to participate in the study and later feel that you no longer wish to be part of it, you can withdraw at any time.
  • Any information that you provide will be kept strictly confidential, except as required by law.
  • Qualified health professionals will monitor your health as it relates to the study.

Next Steps

  1. Click the link below to enter your contact details and answer some eligibility questions.
  2. If eligible, a member of the research team will contact you to discuss the study and answer any questions you may have.

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