Triarco promotes whole herb enzyme technology

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

New Jersey-based Triarco Industries is promoting a patented enzyme technology it says increases the bioavailability of active nutrients in whole herbs such as Echinacea, St John’s wort and ginseng.

Triarco director of research and development Dr Mark Anderson told the technology called Activessence worked by breaking down whole herb cell walls.

Whole herbs have seen a rise in popularity as some studies have indicated benefits that may be apparent only when the complex interaction of molecules present in a whole herb is available.

But because they do not go through the same heating processes that can break down cell walls as often happens in the case of foods, other methods are required in the dietary supplements area.

“Typically organic solvents are used to extract nutrients from herbs,” ​Dr Anderson said. “They are selective in what they remove but this is all about the whole herb, and breaking down that cell wall.”

“It’s a new use of enzymes, a new way of looking at the use of enzymes.”

The technology works by adding the dry enzyme powder into a whole herb supplement product, where it lies dormant until ingested at which point it begins to break down the cellulose, pectin and lignin that give the cell walls their structural integrity.

About three percent of a capsule would typically contain the enzyme powder.

Synergistic effects

Dr Anderson said an in vitro ​assay​trial had been conducted that demonstrated this benefit and which was being prepared for publication.

In a statement issued today, the company said: “Research suggests that the benefits of some herbs derive from the synergistic effects of several constituents, rather than from a single marker compound. For other herbs, the exact bioactive chemical that produces benefits has simply not been identified yet.”

“In still other instances, an herb may contain several marker compounds, each requiring a different solvent. There are at least three known types of immunomodulators in echinacea, for example. Because different‐polarity solvents are needed to extract each one, providing the herb in its entirety can reduce production costs for manufacturers and still allow the consumer to benefit from all three compounds.”

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