DSM puts blood pressure ingredient on ice after disappointing sales

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Blood pressure Nutrition

TensVida: "Just didn't catch on"
TensVida: "Just didn't catch on"
Marketing activity on TensVida (formerly TensGuard), a groundbreaking tripeptide from milk claimed to reduce blood pressure, has been put on ice by bosses at DSM after it failed to meet commercial targets.

While recent research had shown the ingredient to be highly effective ​at reducing blood pressure, TensVida had not set the world on fire commercially, admitted dietary supplements marketing director Lynda Doyle.

This did not mean that the blood pressure market did not have potential or that TensVida did not do what it said on the tin, added Doyle, who was speaking to NutraIngredients-USA at the launch of DSM's new multi-million-dollar innovation center in Parsippany, New Jersey. “TensVida just didn’t catch on, so we are no longer marketing the product at the moment.”

The tripeptide, which won innovation awards on both sides of the Atlantic and attracted a lot of publicity, was described as suitable for a broad range of applications including dietary supplements, juices, and yogurts.

InsuVida: Not commercially viable

Meanwhile, InsuVida (formerly InsuVital), a highly innovative product claimed to help control blood sugar, has also been quietly shelved because DSM had not been able to find a way of making the dairy peptide mix commercially viable, confirmed market segment head for infant nutrition and medical foods Anthony Palmieri.

He said: “InsuVida works, that’s not at issue. But it wasn’t commercially viable.The amount you’d need to consume to make it efficacious was just too high, and after we evaluated it, we could see that it wasn’t going to be a commercially viable product.

“But we never throw things away and it may be something we can return to at a later stage or we may find that there are synergies with other products that we look at in future.”

‘Astonishing’ effects

The ingredient, which DSM was heralding as "a breakthrough in diabetes management​" at its launch in 2007, could be incorporated into a wide range of functional food and beverage applications, claimed company bosses at the time.

In 2008, DSM’s head of nutritional science Dr Philip Rijken said InsuVida had the potential to transform the lives of pre-diabetics. “The astonishing thing is that it’s possible to induce insulin production to levels that are normal for healthy people, even in subjects in the late stages of type 2 diabetes. It partially restores impaired insulin function.”

Significant impact on insulin response

He added: “When we elucidated the DNA sequence of ​[the fungus] Aspergillus nigerwe obtained a lot of information about the different proteases in it​ [enzymes that break up proteins].

“They all hydrolyse protein at different locations and we can make very specific protein hydrolysates and all kinds of peptides, which depending on their structure, have different functionalities. One of them turned out to have a significant impact on insulin response.”

Increased insulin response stimulates the disposal of glucose in the blood and lowers glucose peaks after food.

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