Citrus flavonoids expert Ingredients by Nature (IBN) has completed the second phase of an expansion program at its facility in Montclair California that includes the installation of a novel steam sanitation system.
IBN president Rob Brewster - who was speaking to NutraIngredients-USA at the IFT show in Las Vegas last month - said the proprietary semi-continuous system, developed by IBN’s executive VP Bo Zhu, allowed for more gentle sanitation of nutrient-rich powders.
“Instead of contracting this out where a batch process would be used, our in-house system allows you to formulate and blend ingredients while you are steaming them.
“It’s still in trial mode at the moment as every ingredient and blend will have different microbial loads, but we’ve had tremendous feedback from customers already.
“It’s gentle on color and you don’t get degradation of key nutrients.”
The ORAC debate
Asked for his reaction to USDA’s move to remove its ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) database from its website, Brewster said problems had arisen because firms had relied too heavily on ORAC as a “marketing tool instead of a formulation tool”.
He added: “Many ORAC ingredients are just tested for hydroxl and peroxyl radical protection, whereas we formulate against all five of the major radicals found in the body [peroxyl radicals, hydroxyl radicals, peroxynitrite, super oxide anion, and singlet oxygen].
Chronic, low-grade inflammation
However, the emphasis is beginning to shift as firms seek to move “beyond just talking about antioxidants in general”, he said.
“At IBN, we also test for NF-kB inhibition on a cell line culture [NFkB ‘turns on’ the genes that produce inflammation] as we believe tackling chronic inflammation is where the antioxidants market is going, and we are working on some human intervention trials in this space.
“There is also a new focus on more condition-specific applications of polyphenols.”
IBN is becoming a major force in toll manufacturing in the nutraceuticals sector as companies increasingly want to work with a manufacturer that can take care of everything for them, he added.
“A lot of our customers want a science-based ingredient that’s ready to go, premixed and sanitized, from a facility that adheres to cGMP regulations and we can deliver that.”