Office for Technology Commercialization

Isolation of Natural Products from Cranberry or Cranberry Pomace

Technology #20170365

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Oksana Kolomitsyn
NRRI, University of Minnesota Duluth
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Managed By
Larry Micek
Technology Licensing Officer 612-624-9568
Patent Protection

Provisional Patent Application Filed
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Non-confidential Summary [PDF]

High-Purity Phytochemicals from Cranberries and Cranberry Pomace

Methods to extract ursolic acid, oleanolic acid and other natural compounds from cranberries and/or cranberry processing waste products are simple and cost effective. Chemical laboratory techniques (extraction, filtration and crystallization) isolate the pure ursolic acid from triterpenes acids mixture. The method isolates individual omega hydroxy fatty acids as well as high yields of high purity ursolic acid, phloionolic acid (9,10,18-trihydroxyoctadecanoic acid) and the 9,10-epoxy-18-hydroxyoctadecanoic acid. The technique, amenable to large scale commercial production, produces commercial quantities (e.g., kg) of ursolic acid as well as commercial quantities (e.g., kg) of oleanolic acid. The process extracts ursolic acid and oleanolic acid without damaging other compounds (cinnamate-based esters of ursolic acid) and uses non-toxic, environmentally-friendly and easily disposable solvents.

Low-Cost, Value-Added Nutraceutical Production

Cranberry pomace, the low-value waste product from cranberry processing, is unsuitable for animal feed but presents environmental problems when disposed of in soil or landfills. Isolating relevant compounds such as ursolic acid from cranberry waste material could have a wide range of applications. The methods in this technology isolate and purify biomedically relevant phytochemicals from cranberry pomace. While these chemicals have previously been isolated from different agricultural sources, this technology optimizes the isolation and purification process, offering value-added nutraceutical production from an expensive waste product at a significantly lower cost than existing products and methods. In addition, the process does not employ alkali/acid treatments used in other methods.


  • Isolates individual ursolic acid, phloionolic acid (9,10,18-trihydroxyoctadecanoic acid) and the 9,10-epoxy-18-hydroxyoctadecanoic acid
  • High yields, high purity
  • Simple extraction process
  • Uses safe, non-toxic, non-carcinogenic solvents that are easy to handle, environmentally friendly, inexpensive, and easily disposable
  • Lower cost compared to current methods
  • No alkali/acid treatments used
  • Extracts value from waste stream
  • Environmentally safe waste products


  • Ursolic acid: nutritional and fitness supplements for muscle growth and fat loss
  • Oleanolic acid: nutritional supplement for Type 2 diabetics
  • Phloionolic acid: chemical precursor for synthesizing ambrettolide (perfume fragrance)
  • Omega hydroxy acids (phloionolic acid and 9,10-epoxy-18-hydroxyoctadecanoic acid): naturally sourced polymer synthesis
  • Acquires additional value from current agricultural waste (cranberry pomace)
  • Specialty chemicals
  • Nutraceuticals
  • Dietary supplements and plant/botanical extracts
  • Biomedical probes for research
  • Cancer treatment/prevention
  • Chemical and polymer manufacturers; precursor for polymer thermosets
  • Extraction of fruit pomaces with similar chemical compositions (e.g., apples, cutin containing plants)
  • Possible anti-cancer activity of trans-3-O-p-hydroxycinnamoyl ursolic acid and cis-3-O-p-hydroxycinnamoyl ursolic acid

Phase of Development - Proof of Concept

Interested in Licensing?
The University relies on industry partners to scale up technologies to large enough production capacity for commercial purposes. The license is available for this technology and would be for the sale, manufacture or use of products claimed by the issued patents. Please contact Larry Micek to share your business needs and technical interest in this technology and if you are interested in licensing the technology for further research and development.