PNI has been distributing a meat-extract version of Celadrin for Imagenetix Inc since 2004, and is now able to meet the needs of vegetarian products.
Several years of research and development have enabled the firm to mimic the chemical composition and bioavailability benefits of the meat tallow-based version.
PNI president, Dean Mosca, said Asia and the growing vegetarian market for dietary supplements in the US were key areas of focus for the new offering. The pet market was also being targeted.
“In Asia there is still some stigma related to the BSE issue and so to offer a vegetarian version resolves any of those kind of problems,” he said. “We see Asia as a significant opportunity.”
PNI distributes about half a dozen ingredients and Celadrin is one of its best-sellers.
The ingredient is selling for about $80/kg depending on volumes and delivers the same bioavailability as the meat tallow version.
The vegetarian version is made from a mixture of palm oil, coconut oil, palm kernel, olive oil, nutmeg and unsaturated vegetable oils.
“The trick was to find the right profile of fatty acids,” said Mosca. "That's why it took 4-5 years."
Clinical trials have shown it to be safe, non-toxic and effective in reducing joint discomfort and improving joint flexibility.