"This agreement complements our strategy to partner with top-tier companies and expand our line of trusted dietary supplement ingredients," said Peter Hafermann, president of BI Nutraceuticals.
Both PIVEG's lutein and zeaxanthin are 100 percent natural and derived from purified marigold flower carotenoids. Its lutein is available in 5 and 25 percent beadlets, 20 and 30 percent oil and 70 percent powder, and the zeaxanthin is available in 25 percent beadlets, 20 percent oil and 50 percent powder.
"We continue to provide the highest purity material available in the market and are pleased that this partnership with BI will allow us to expand the distribution of our ingredients to the North American market," stated Roberto Espinoza, the CEO of PIVEG. "Lutein and Zeaxanthin represent two of the fastest growing supplement ingredients and we look forward to ongoing success in North America as a result of our partnership with BI."
Espinoza told NutraIngredientUSA that although the company is already present in the US market, he hopes that the alliance with BI will further enhance its presence.
Despite the competition from the likes of Kemin and Cognis, Spinoza said: "We are sure that our product line will be a major player in the US market."
PIVEG's lutein and zeaxanthin products have been available in the since 1999, but according to Espinoza, sales did not reach substantial levels until 2002.
Lutein is a naturally occurring molecule found in dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale and collard greens.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are the primary components of macular pigment that filters out blue wavelength light from the sun and artificial light, suppressing the oxidation of retinal cells that can otherwise cause degenerative eye disease. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss for people over the age of 50 in the Western world, affecting approximately 25-30 million people. This number is expected to double by 2030.
More recent studies have intimated that Lutein supplements may also increase macular pigment in people at earlier stages of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), suggesting that a much larger group of at-risk individuals than previously thought may gain some benefit from taking the supplements.
The average American ingests only 1-2 mg of lutein daily and several brands of lutein supplements are now available in North America.