The manufacturer of natural antioxidants for meats, poultry, oils and beverages has secured a deal with PL Thomas (PLT) to gain support in sourcing and marketing of its products in the wide-ranging North American market.
PLT is a New Jersey based ingredient supplier, specializing in water-soluble gums and botanical extracts.
"Our goal is to penetrate the fast-growing dietary supplement market in the USA, as well as develop the food market for rosemary extracts with emphasis on its powerful antioxidant benefits," said Vitiva's Ohad Cohen.
The herb - a good source of vitamin A, B6 and C, thiamin, magnesium, and iron - has traditionally been used in cooking and to relieve muscle spasms.
The introduction of the nutrient in food preservation is fairly new on a commercial level. But its increasing acceptance in mainstream food processing comes as firms are under growing pressure to eliminate artificial additives.
Chemical-derived synthetic preservatives are becoming fraught with bad press as more and more consumers scrutinize ingredients lists, pushing food makers to source natural preservatives, such as rosemary extract, instead. And this is amounting to a swell of opportunity for Vitiva, which has already expanded its product line into Norway, Britain and Ireland over the past few months.
But although the rosemary extract market is growing, one problem is that the ingredient is still considered to be a flavor and not an antioxidant, even though it is often used as such.
Many producers believe that this should be changed to reflect current market practices. Some authorities such as the French have recognized this, though European legislation and labeling convention has been slow to catch up.
Moreover, market analysts Global Information still pitch the traditional global food preservative market at $508.4bn, reaching $627.9bn by 2008 thanks to a buoyant annual growth rate of 4.1 per cent - indicating that natural alternatives have a long way to go before they indent this profitable industry.