Provexis enters into agreement to extend Fruitflow beyond juices

By Jess Halliday

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Nutrition functional beverage beverage

Provexis has entered into a 12 month exclusivity agreement with a
major food company to take its Fruitflow heart health bioactive
into food and dairy products.

The global branded food business, which cannot yet be named for confidentiality reasons, has already started working with Provexis on adapting the technology, which is based on compounds contained in the clear fraction of tomatoes that inhibit blood platelet aggregation, thereby smoothing blood flow and helping to maintain healthy circulation and heart.

The technology has already been used in the Sirco heart health juice drink in the UK. Stephen Moon, newly-appointed CEO of Provexis, explained to that the second generation technology uses the same bioactive as Sirco. But the original Fruitflow is a thick, sugary syrup - ideal for juice drinks but with a strong flavour and colour that makes it unsuitable for dairy and other foods.

To overcome this, the company has devised a way to extract the sugar, and make the bioactive into a powder that is 35 per cent more concentrated - thus making it suitable for several more application areas.

Moon said the potential applications for the technology have been carved up into four areas. It is envisaged that all food and beverage uses are to be licensed to the unnamed company, with the exception of juice and juice drinks; already proven to be a successful format by the Sirco model, juice and juice drink uses are available for licensing to a third party.

The third area of use is in prevention of deep vein thrombosis, an area in which recent studies have indicated it is effective and in which a patent has been filed.

Finally, there has been some interest in using the technology for dietary supplements and over-the-counter medicinal products.

Insofar as garnering the food company deal, which is subject to technical and economic targets and negotiation of a license and supply agreement, Moon said the Sirco model has proved very helpful.

"Platelet aggregation is one of the three major components of heart disease, but not an area that has had a product marketed for it before,"​ he said. "Sirco has performed on a like-for-like basis with other heart health products."

The Sirco product has been available in UK supermarkets Tesco and Waitrose since early 2006, and has recently entered health food chain Holland and Barrett.

Moon said the roll-out has been "slow and steady"​. Discussions are underway for a reintroduction at Sainsbury's after the product was taken out of stock just eight weeks into its trial due to reorganisation of the retailer's chilled beverage section.

Moon has recently taken up the helm of Provexis from former CEO Dr Stephen Franklin. He said that the directorial change was down to the business entering a new life-stage.

While Franklin's skillset is in tapping promising research from Universities, Moon's background, including a spell as strategy planning and worldwide business development director at GlaxoSmithKline's nutritional healthcare division, is in brand development and licensing.

Moon called the change-over a "judicious move"​, adding that Franklin is supportive and is staying on in the role of acting director of research until at least early 2007.

Indeed, a number of other nutraceutical technologies are currently under development.

Clinical trials are about to start on a medical food based on a patented extract from the plantain banana for the dietary management of Crohn's disease. The food is being developed in conjunction with the University of Liverpool, and Provexis is also collaborating with a global clinical nutrition company.

Northwest Development Agency recently granted the company a £180,000 research grant for Crohn's disease technology.

Work is also continuing on the development of a broccoli-derived bioactive ingredient associated with reducing the risk of certain types of cancer. Provexis is working closely with The Institute for Food Research on this project.

It is possible that it will follow the same commercialisation strategy for this as it has for Fruitflow.

"We are currently reviewing the relative merits of launching a new brand in the UK followed by a global licensing strategy, or alternatively moving straight to licensing arrangements,"​ said Franklin last month.

As for the identification of other technologies to commercialise in the future, Provexis is half way through a three-year technology acquisition agreement with Plant Bioscience Ltd, which has a network of 35 research institutes that may yield further opportunities for functional foods.

Related topics Polyphenols Cardiovascular health

Related news

Show more

Related products

A Premium Product for Men's Health

A Premium Product for Men's Health

Content provided by Chemical Resources (CHERESO) | 03-May-2023 | White Paper

Testosterone deficiency is increasingly recognized as a significant health problem in men.

The Most Bioavailable, Organic Form of Magnesium

The Most Bioavailable, Organic Form of Magnesium

Content provided by Albion Human Nutrition | 22-Jan-2015 | Research Study

Magnesium is required by over 360 biochemical functions in the body, from energy production to sleep. But, it has little benefit if the body cannot tolerate...

Follow us

Featured Events

View more


View more