The California Prune Board (CPB) established a Nutrition Advisory Panel in 1997 and continues to lead the way in supporting scientifically rigorous research on the nutritional and health benefits of incorporating California Prunes into the diet. We are proud of this work and committed to learning how prunes can help address public health concerns and promote healthy lifestyles.

More than 70 peer-reviewed and published studies have examined prune consumption in relation to healthy digestion, gut health, bone health, heart health, weight management, satiety, and more. Research indicates prunes may be one of the most valuable foods to be top-of-mind when describing healthful eating patterns.

The California Prune Nutrition Research Roadmap

In 2022, the CPB worked with its Nutrition Advisory Panel and other experts to establish a 10-year Nutrition Research Roadmap, a strategic plan for nutrition research that is designed to expand the evidence about prunes and healthy bones and explore connections between gut health and bone health. The roadmap contains research recommendations designed to increase the cadence of research and research communications; address research gaps in varying demographics; and consider global and regional needs by initiating research outside of the U.S.

The Nutrition Advisory Panel

In administering its nutrition research program, CPB works with its Nutrition Advisory Panel to identify and oversee research that advances the world’s understanding of how prunes contribute to human health. This includes literature reviews, epidemiological studies, nutrient analyses, preclinical and clinical trials.

Currently, members of the Nutrition Advisory Panel represent expertise in the areas of bone health, women’s health, general dietary guidance, dietary fiber, digestive health, nutrition and physical activity, nutrition and immunity, antioxidant research, and food science. They, as well as all researchers involved in CPB-funded studies, are obligated to disclose their affiliations when sharing their research findings in journal articles, presentations, poster sessions and the like at conferences and meetings with their peers as well as the public at large.

The Nutrition Advisory Panel evaluates nutrition research proposals to assess whether the study would align with the California Prune Nutrition Research Roadmap; whether it would be scientifically feasible; whether the intended methods and protocols are scientifically sound; and whether the primary investigator(s) is a well-regarded scientist who follows the most rigorous standards of the scientific method and professional ethics. Proposals that pass that evaluation are considered for recommendation to the CPB for research funding. If a Nutrition Advisory Panel member is involved in actual or proposed CPB-funded research, they recuse themselves from all relevant discussions and decision making.

Once studies are funded and underway, researchers work independently, and the CPB and Nutrition Advisory Panel members do not participate in or engage in the research process, in manuscript development or review, or in discussions about submitting the research to peer-reviewed journals for publication.

CPB’s Nutrition Advisory Panel includes:

JEFFREY BLUMBERG, Ph.D., FASN, FACN, CNS-S, Research Professor, Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University

KRISTINE L. CLARK, Ph.D., RD, FACSM, Director of Sports Nutrition, Intercollegiate Athletics and Nutritional Sciences Departments, Pennsylvania State University, University Park

GAIL CRESCI, Ph.D., RD, Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Pediatric Institute, Department of Inflammation & Immunity, Lerner Research Institute, Director of Nutrition Research, Center for Human Nutrition, Digestive Disease and Surgery Institute, Cleveland Clinic, and Assistant Professor of Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University

DANIEL D. GALLAHER, PH.D., Professor, Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences, University of Minnesota, St. Paul

CONNIE ROGERS, Ph.D., MPH, Nutritional Sciences Department Head, University of Georgia.

CONNIE M. WEAVER, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor Emerita, Purdue University

The nutrition research activities of the California Prune Board are coordinated by Andrea Giancoli, MPH, RD.