A muffin instead of a pomegranate?

By Clarisse Douaud

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Functional food Nutrition

C.K. Nutritional Ingredients and Cyvex Nutrition have collaborated
with a retail baker in Canada for a line of PomActiv muffins, in an
innovative take on bringing antioxidants to consumers.

C.K. is Cyvex's representative in Canada. The two companies formed an alliance in late 2005 for C.K. to sell Cyvex's PomActiv pomegranate extract to the Canadian functional food, beverage and dietary supplement manufacturers. The product is an example of the various avenues by which functional ingredients can make it to consumers, by-passing traditional supplements or products with a very high health profile. After all, a muffin has additional ingredients that are less healthy than the fruit compounds said to be improving heart health. The Canadian regulatory landscape poses a greater challenge for functional food marketers than their counterparts in the US. However, according to C.K. general manager Michael Chernyak, those companies who think innovatively can skirt these strict regulatory requirements and develop food products with health benefits that can still be effectively communicated to consumers. "Some forward-thinking manufacturers and marketers are rising to this challenge by utilizing innovative marketing and communication strategies,"​ said Chernyak. "This is providing them with an all-important first-mover advantage in a functional food and beverage environment that is still in its infancy in Canada." ​ The companies were not able to tell NutraIngredients-USA the name of their partner - who does not want its identity disclosed - but indicated it is a leading Canadian bakery operator. The manufacturer is now using PomActiv in a muffin sold at a leading Canadian coffee chain throughout the country. "The PomActiv muffin is positioned as a healthy snack item that provides an amount of PomActiv equivalent in antioxidant capacity to five glasses of pure pomegranate juice,"​ said Chernyak. The pomegranate extract PomActiv contains polyphenolic compounds, ellagitannins - standardized to 70 percent ellagic acid. Juice versions of the antioxidant-rich fruit have become particularly popular thanks to scientific literature linking their compounds to improved heart health, as well as claims that pomegranate could protect against prostate cancer and slow cartilage loss in arthritis. The muffin marketers are looking to fulfill a similar role via the bakery aisle, for those consumers looking to reap the heart healthy benefits of the antioxidant compounds. "This opens the market for people to obtain dietary nutraceuticals and increase their antioxidant intake, especially for those who have an aversion to pill form,"​ said Charlene Lee, Cyvex executive vice president and general manager. The muffins will not have any direct health claims or packaging - therey avoiding murky regulatory waters - but the heart healthy association is communicated to them by the vendor, according to Chernyak. Earlier this year, Cyvex C.K. forged a deal in which C.K. will market, sell, warehouse and distribute the complete range of Cyvex's specialty nutritional ingredients. "We look forward to more innovative foods and supplements with our Canadian partners,"​ said Lee.

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