The ingredient is produced by India’s Synthite Industries and Unibar is the exclusive US distributor of the 80% curcumin ingredient.
Sevanti Mehta, president of Unibar, said the eventual primary marketplace for products containing the ingredient include consumers seeking a natural, research-supported option to fight aging and chronic diseases.
“It may also be used by consumers looking for a natural retail product alternative to NSAIDs for short-term relief of aches and pains,” added Mehta.
Compound and benefits
Curcumin, the natural pigment that gives the spice turmeric its yellow color, has increasingly come under the scientific spotlight in recent years, with studies investigating its potential benefits for reducing cholesterol levels, improving cardiovascular health, reducing the risk of Alzheimer's, and potential protection against cancer.
Despite the potential health benefits of curcumin, reports indicate that digestive juice in the gastrointestinal tract quickly destroys most curcumin, leading to only a little actually getting into the blood.
This has led to a range of curcumin complexes offered by suppliers that reportedly boost the bioavailability of the compound: For example, Sabinsa combines curcumin with piperine from black pepper to enhance bioavailability of its Curcuminoids C3 Complex, while Indena combines curcumin with phosphatidylcholine from soy lecithin for its Meriva ingredient.
Unibar's Mehta estimates the U.S. Curcumin market to be about $175 million. "India is the world’s leading producer and exporter of the turmeric spice, and it is also the leading exporter of turmeric into the U.S., amounting to 93% of its total imports".
According to Unibar, the new ingredient has been the subject of in vitro and in vivo efficacy studies that supports immune function and healthy inflammatory response.
In an email to NutraIngredients-USA, a spokesperson said that Synthite Industries Ltd conducted a rat study that shows an 8x increase (800%) in bioavailability and six times longer retention. According to Unibar, that study is proprietary and the data has not been published.
The company said it has begun discussions with dietary supplement and functional foods manufacturers in the US.
“Unibar offers an immediate, cost-effective quality plus enhanced-bioavailable curcumin with a long-term supply,” stated Mehta.