Most of the research conducted to date on the phytoestrogens has been on the lignan secoisolariciresinol diglucoside (SDG), which is converted to the mammalian lignans enterolactone and enterodiol. Promising links have been made between increased dietary lignan intake and reduced risk of a wide range of conditions, most notably breast cancer, prostate cancer, and reduced hair loss.
BioGin's Cherry Qiu told NutraIngredients.com that although the company is intially introducing its AlaLife brand with 40 per cent concentration, the technology also allows for even higher concentrations, of 50 and 60 per cent. There are expected to be launched at a later date.
Archer Daniel Midland introduced its 35 per cent SDG BeneFlax in the US last week after having completed new dietary ingredient (NDI) notification. Frutarom's LinumLife (formerly from Acatris Health) is standardised to 20 per cent SDG.
However Qiu said that BioGin is not marketing its lignan ingredient along cancer risk reduction lines, but is instead focusing on the anti-oxidant value of AlaLife and its potential to aid weight loss.
She said that a test conducted at a US laboratory has shown AlaLife to have a remarkably high ORAC value, of almost 7000 micro-moleTE/g. This opens up potential in the anti-ageing market and other disease risk reduction. Qiu added that a human trial on weight loss is underway.
BioGin has previously offered flax lignans at SDG concentration of five per cent. Qiu said that the company is well known in China, and is currently seeking to cooperate with companies in the EU and US that can help it enter those markets.
"Because we are a Chinese company, we are not familiar with all the rules and regulations," said Qiu. "We want to make an effort to do so." She added that BioGin is in the process of obtaining certification for its factory in Chengdu to comply with international standards.
There are understood to be several other flax lignan manufacturers in China, but according to BioGin they are only operating on a small scale.
BioGin has the capacity to produce ten tones of AlaLife per month, but because the market is not yet mature it is presently producing two to three tones.
Qiu said that the price of BioGin's AlaLife flax lignans will be competitive, but that higher concentrations can command higher prices.
BioGin is also offering flax-derived essential fatty acid ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) under the AlaLife brand.