KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — From fighting cancer to fighting wrinkles, the uber-healthy compound that gives red and purple fruits and vegetables their brilliant color will hit store shelves within a year as a new ingredient in food products and cosmetics, a lead scientist at the N.C. Research Campus says.

Dr. Mary Ann Lila announced Monday in Kannapolis that N.C. State University and Rutgers University scientists have figured out a way to extract and stabilize the natural substance, called anthocyanins, and sell it to food, healthcare and pharmaceutical companies.

“The thing that’s so exciting about anthocyanins is that they almost seem too good to be true,” said Lila, director of N.C. State’s Plants for Human Health Institute in Kannapolis.

Anthocyanins provide a wide range of health benefits, from preventing chronic disease to improving the appearance of skin. For years, people have consumed cranberry juice to cure urinary tract infections, thanks to the anthocyanins in cranberries.

Now, people who don’t want the sugar in cranberry juice or don’t like the tart taste instead can eat food containing the powdery, all-natural substance, Lila said.

Read the full Salisbury Post report here.

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