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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Corvallis, Oregon » Horticultural Crops Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #324069

Title: Further research on the biological activities and the safety of raspberry ketone are needed

item Lee, Jungmin

Submitted to: NFS Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/15/2015
Publication Date: 3/1/2016
Publication URL:
Citation: Lee, J. 2016. Further research on the biological activities and the safety of raspberry ketone are needed. NFS Journal. 2:15-18.

Interpretive Summary: This article is part of our ongoing effort to inform researchers and consumers about facts from Rubus fruit research. Raspberry ketone is the common name for a compound first identified in raspberry fruit, and is one of the components responsible for the characteristic odor and taste we associate with “raspberry”. It quickly became a common ingredient for a raspberry flavor or aroma in foods and fragrances, and more recently it has found popular use as a dietary supplement. Due to the extremely low quantities of raspberry ketone actually in raspberries, and the large demand from industry, nearly all raspberry ketone has to be synthetically produced. Raspberry ketone has been used as a flavoring agent for many years, although the amount of it in dietary supplements have not yet been proven safe and there is no data to substantiate claims that it aids weight-loss. This project was partially funded by a Specialty Crop Research Initiative grant from USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

Technical Abstract: Raspberry ketone supplements have grabbed consumer attention with the possibility they might help burn fat and aid weight loss. While raspberry ketone occurs naturally, and is found in raspberry fruit, most is synthetically produced for use in commercial products as flavorings, fragrances, or dietary supplements. Currently, the amount of raspberry ketone in dietary supplements (currently sold in the US) is well above the maximum concentration recommended for food and fragrance products, so additional toxicology work is needed to ensure such concentrations of raspberry ketone are safe. In addition to safety data, clinical studies are also needed to validate any health benefits. Without research on the effects of consuming high concentrations of raspberry ketone, consumers should be wary of unsubstantiated claims and mindful of potential harm to their health.