Soft Gel to introduce new immune-boosting product

US-based Soft Gel is to launch a new plant-based product, designed
to support the immune system and detoxification, at Health
Ingredients Europe next month.

The product, called WasabiSol, is derived from Wasabia japonica​ or Japanese horseradish and is a potent source of long chain isothiocyanates - natural compounds found in foods such as broccoli, cabbage and watercress. These support phase I and phase II detoxification in the liver and promote certain immune functions, explained Kenn Israel, director of marketing for Softgel​.

Interest in products that can boost the immune system appears to be growing, with last year's SARS epidemic pushing many into the limelight. Dairy ingredients such as colostrum have been popular in Asia since the disease outbreak and others like probiotics have strong growth worldwide.

"Wasabi is the paste we think we are covering our sushi with, but 99 per cent of the time, US restaurants are not serving real wasabi, but a substitute powder made from horseradish and mustard,"​ said Israel.

He noted that the wasabi used in SoftGel's supplement is hydroponically grown. This method of growing - as opposed to soil-grown wasabi - is said to produce larger rhizomes, which in turn contain more active ingredients.

SoftGel believes that its way of offering the ingredient to the consumer is the best method of delivery as the compounds in wasabi are so fragile that they are at risk of being destroyed if they come into contact with any moisture. Keeping the wasabi powder contained inside a hermetically-sealed soft gelatin capsule keeps the active ingredients intact and free from moisture, according to the company.

"I am sure the ingredient will be worked into tablets, but softgel is the only ideal delivery system to stop it being affected by water,"​ said Israel.

During the next quarter, all SoftGel's efforts will be going into marketing Wasabisol.

"We started educating potential clients about the product at SupplySide and will be distributing information throughout the US next month,"​ said Israel.

European customers will gain first sight of the product at Health Ingredients Europe (HIE) next month.

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