Over the past couple of years a slate of new joint health ingredients have come to market as alternatives to or synergistic with established ingredients glucosamine and chondriotin sulphate. It is an area Waitaki has not ignored in the past: regional export manager Steve Caulton told NutraIngredients.com that the company has previously offered crude cartiledge materials with collagen and chondroitin sulphate, but he described the new addition as "a particular molecule derived extracted from bovine cartilage… a more sophisticated, refined, targeted ingredient".
The glycosaminoglycan polypeptide complex is derived from tracheal cartilage of bovine origin using a patented method developed by an Australian biotech, to which Waitaki has obtained the manufacturing and marketing rights. The technique employs naturally-present enzymes and the result is said to have a different molecular composition to those prepared by the addition of enzymes.
Sold as a freeze dried powder, the product is said to be suitable for tableting and encapsulation, and a relatively low dose is required. Conditions for which it may prove helpful include rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Research has been conducted on the bioactive's efficacy, and its benefits are said to be two-fold: since it contains high levels of chondroitin sulphate it alleviates the symptoms of chronic inflammation, but also promotes the regeneration of joint cartiledge cells by stimulating them to divide and increase their production of new matrix components.
Ao the company the research has shown Calcium Peptacan to be more effective than either chondroitin sulphate or glucosamine alone.
A rat study was recently published in Inflammopharmacology (Ghosh, Shimmon, Whitehouse, 14 (2006) 161-168) and human trials are currently underway.
Although the ingredient comes from a bovine source, Caulton stressed that there are no disease risk issues with New Zealand animal products; in fact, the WHO has affirmed the country's BSE-free status.
A further safety boost is provided by the substantial absence of intracellular breakdown products.
Calcium Petpacan was introduced to the US market at SupplySide West last month. While the US is Waitaki's initial target with Calcium Peptacan, it is giving the ingredient its first European airing at HIE in order to gauge interest in an ingredient of this kind amongst manufacturers on this side of the Atlantic.