The ingredient, which can support both bone and heart health, can be used in a wide range of products, said the company, including dietary supplements, beverages, nutrition bars, dairy and bakery products.
“UniK2 is a remarkable form of vitamin K2,” said Laurent Leduc VP of health for Frutarom Americas. “It’s an all-natural, potent and highly bioavailable formula and, importantly, it has long serum half-life – up to three days in comparison to synthetic vitamin K1 which lasts an average of only few hours.”
There are two main forms of vitamin K: phylloquinone, also known as phytonadione, (vitamin K1) which is found in green leafy vegetables such as lettuce, broccoli and spinach, and makes up about 90 per cent of the vitamin K in a typical Western diet; and menaquinones (vitamins K2), which make up about 10 per cent of Western vitamin K consumption and can be synthesised in the gut by microflora.
Menaquinones (MK-n: with the n determined by the number of prenyl side chains) can also be found in the diet; MK-4 can be found in animal meat, MK-7, MK-8, and MK-9 are found in fermented food products like cheese, and natto is a rich source of MK-7.
Frutarom’s ingredient is produced using Bacillus natto, a bacteria naturally occurring in Natto. A well known rich source of Vitamin K2, Natto is traditionally made by fermentation of soy beans and has been used in Far Eastern cooking for centuries.
It is produced by J-Oil Mills, making it 100 per cent Japanese in origin.
Vitamin K deficiency may be more common than previously thought, according to findings from a Dutch study in 2007 (Thrombosis and Haemostasis, Vol. 98, pp. 120-125). According to Frutarom, the recommended daily dose of uniK2 powder 0.2 percent is 22.5 mg/day, while the 0.15 percent oil has a recommended daily dose of 30 mg. This is equivalent to a daily intake of 45micrograms, as recommended and supported by scientific data, said the company.
“[UniK2’s] versatility and efficacy in fighting widespread conditions such as osteoporosis and cardiovascular complaints make uniK2 an attractive ingredient for bone and heart health formulas – especially for applications targeting health for women and seniors,” added Leduc.
“With this vitamin K2 ingredient, Frutarom expands its range of safe and efficient herbal extracts, providing science-based functionality purely from nature.”
When it comes to vitamin K, the mantra is very much “quality and not quantity”. The market is dominated by branded ingredients: Blue California offers Vitamin K2-All Trans, NattoPharma offers MenaQ7, Danisco’s ActivK, and PL Thomas has Vitamin K2-MK7.
Last year saw the launch of the first synthetic form of the vitamin with Norwegian company Kappa offering the K2Vital Vitamin K Product Line – the ingredient is distributed exclusively in the US by Xsto Solutions. Norway’s Kappa announced its development of the Vitamin K2 in August 201, claiming the ingredient has similar bioavailability to existing forms on the market but is up to 20 percent cheaper.