BioPerine is used in dietary supplements to enhance the bioavailability of nutrients. United States- and India-based Sabinsa claims production of black pepper in major exporting countries has decreased. "This decrease in black pepper production will in no way impact our ability to supply customers with our clinically researched, patented Bioperine ingredient," stated Todd Norton, president, Sabinsa Corporation. "However, we anticipate a price increase per kilo of approximately 8 to 10 percent." According to Sabinsa, production in Vietnam and Brazil is down significantly due to drought and similarly India is predicting below average output. Increased demand, combined with this tight supply, looks set to push prices up. "Our prices vary on volume and on the specific contracts we have with companies," Sabinsa president and CEO, Todd Norton, told NutraIngredients-USA. The company holds United States and European patents and International pending patents for Bioperine. The standardized black pepper extract that contains 95 percent piperine - said to bind to transient receptor potential vanilloid (TRPV1) receptors in the brain and other parts of the nervous system. This in turn triggers metabolic processes favoring the flow of nutrients in the body. Some of Sabinsa's patents, including that for the use of Bioperine, were contested recently. The company took legal action against DNP International for allegedly infringing its patents. The US Patent and Trademark Office has completed a formal review of Sabinsa Corporation's patent for black pepper extract, BioPerine, and has found the intellectual property to be valid.