Co-enzyme Q10 – a powerful antioxidant – has traditionally been difficult to incorporate into beverage products because of its molecular weight and characteristic solubility, which can also impact its bioavailability.
Ingredient manufacturers have responded to the challenge by developing water-soluble versions of the ingredient. According to Triarco’s director of R&D, Mark Anderson, the firm's patented Aqua 10 ingredient “provides the processing advantages of a powder, while its water solubility ensures excellent, reliable incorporation with liquids.”
CoQ10 – or coenzyme Q10 plays a vital role in the production of chemical energy in mitochondria – the 'power plants' of the cell – by participating in the production of adenosince triphosphate (ATP), the body's co-called 'energy currency'.
It has been studied for its role in cognitive health, heart health, and anti-ageing (in oral and topical formulations). It has also been shown to benefit those suffering from angina, heart attack and hypertension.
Its use in the US, particularly in supplements, has been boosted by the rise in popularity of statin drugs which deplete the body's natural stores of CoQ10.
Consistency and bioavailability... and GRAS
According to Triarco, Aqua 10 is “easy to work with and dissolves consistently”. This, it claims, can encourage its use in “consumer-friendly delivery systems” – such as beverages – that allow good absorption. However, the firm told NutraIngredients-USA.com that Aqua 10 has not yet received GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status, which is the standard ingredients are usually required to meet before being used in food and beverage products.
The firm said it has conducted an animal study, which is unpublished, that shows Aqua 10 to have 50 percent greater absorption when compared to regular forms of CoQ10. "No dose for Aqua 10 has been officially established as of yet, but based on our preclinical research, we think the dose will be around 180 mg," said the firm.
Triarco said its facilities are ISO and NSF certified, and that it meets GMP regulations. It has not yet been certified for the new supplement GMPs in the US, but plans to be "by the end of the year".
Chemistry of CoQ10
CoQ10 has properties similar to vitamins, but since it is naturally synthesized in the body it is not classed as such. With chemical structure 2,3-dimethoxy-5-methyl-6-decaprenyl-1,4-benzoquinone, it is also known as ubiquinone because of its 'ubiquitous' distribution throughout the human body.
The coenzyme is concentrated in the mitochondria - the 'power plants' of the cell - and plays a vital role in the production of chemical energy by participating in the production of adenosince triphosphate (ATP), the body's co-called 'energy currency'.
A role beyond the mitochondria is also acknowledged, with CoQ10 acting as a potent antioxidant. The coenzyme plays an important role in preserving levels of vitamin E and vitamin C.
The global market for CoQ10 was valued in 2008 at $835m, compared to $380m in 2003, according to Euromonitor International.
When broken down into geographical regions, North America holds the largest slice of the market, valued at $459m in 2008. This is followed by Asia Pacific at $287m, Western Europe at $48m and Eastern Europe at $30m.