Biogin increases flax lignan production based on demand

By Clarisse Douaud

- Last updated on GMT

Chinese ingredients maker Biogin Biochemicals said it has seen an
approximately 30 percent growth in demand for its flax lignans from
clients in the US and Europe and it is increasing its production
capacity accordingly.

Links have been made between increased dietary lignan intake and reduced risk of a wide range of conditions, including breast and prostate cancers, as well as reduced hair loss.

However Biogin indicated it is not marketing its lignan ingredient Alalife along cancer risk reduction lines, but is instead focusing on the anti-oxidant value of the product and its potential to aid weight loss.

Based on the growth in demand for this ingredient over the past six months, Biogin improved its production lines so that - effective in August - capacity for manufacturing Alalife has been bolstered by 35 percent.

This year the company further enhanced the profile of the line when it increased the SDG - secoisolariciresinol diglucoside, the major lignan found in flaxseed - concentration of the flax lignans to 40 percent standardized.

The company also revealed a human trial on weight loss is underway for the ingredient.

This is not the first product Biogin is gearing towards weight management.

It also launched resveratrol for the US weigh loss market earlier this year, based on reports of links between high doses of the phytochemical and weight loss in mice.

Though the US weight management market is burgeoning, it is said to still have room to grow in.

Approximately one third of Americans are obese and Euromonitor International estimates the US weight management supplements market to be worth $3.9bn, while the European market is valued at $0.9bn in 2005.

Biogin is marketing its flax extracts under the brand Alalife, which includes flax lingans, flax oil, flax gum and powder.

"That means the customer has more choice, not only one ingredient," Cherry Qiu, the sales representative in charge of Biogin's flax project, told NutraIngredients-USA.

"And we can have several channels overlapped to promote this brand."

As part of its capacity increase, Biogin built new production lines at its factory, located near Chengdu in southwest China.

Biogin said its clients have witnessed growth in this category, which the company then backed up with its own market investigation as well as discussion with potential clients.

The company also claims to have uncovered strong antioxidant activity in its flax lignans.

According to Biogin, the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) value of its 40 percent SDG Alalife flax lignans was nearly 7000µmole TE/g - almost equal to better known antioxidant ingredients such as bilberry and grape extract.

Alalife flax lignans are mainly extracted by water, free of acetone or organic solvent residue, so as to maintain 100 percent water solubility of the ingredient.

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