Headed up by former Firmenich executives Markus Beba and David Johnston, Horphag Research Nutrition will initially target the women’s health and sports nutrition markets, but will also explore a host of other opportunities and develop other nutritional ingredients, said Horphag Research chief executive Victor Ferrari.
“With our double-digit growth showing no signs of slowing down, there has been an overwhelming consensus to expand Pycnogenol further into the food and beverage sector, as it has already been the case in many Asian countries.”
Water soluble and heat stable
While it has had huge success in the supplements market, Pycnogenol was also well suited to food and beverage applications because it was water-soluble and heat stable, said the firm.
“Considerable expertise has been gained on taste and stability of Pycnogenol in complex formulations such as shakes, functional drinks and fermented / non fermented dairy products as well as products undergoing considerable heat such as UHT beverages and cereals.”
Other applications for Pycnogenol, which is GRAS (generally recognized as safe) in the US, include bars, margarine and chewing gums.
Sports nutrition and women’s health
Speaking to NutraIngredients-USA in June, Ferrari said Pycnogenol was well-suited to sports nutrition applications, adding: “Pycnogenol helps to stimulate the release of nitric oxide [which relaxes blood vessels and improves blood flow] and we have some new projects in this area."
Meanwhile, Pycnogenol’s proven benefits for cardiovascular and circulatory health, skin care and menopause symptom relief made it ideal for women’s health products, he said.
There was also a growing opportunity to develop new products combining Pycnogenol with other ingredients to target specific health condition categories such as joint health (with glucosamine/chondroitin or collagen hydrolysates), heart health (with CoQ10) or eye health (with lutein or other ingredients), said Ferrari.
“If we have a good sized company in front of us we’ll come up with a tailor-made formula, a full concept, clinical trials on the combined ingredients and patent protection.”
Backed by science
Pycnogenol - a combination of procyanidins, bioflavonoids and organic acids extracted from the bark of the maritime pine – is included in more than 700 dietary supplements, cosmetic products and functional foods and beverages worldwide.
Made by Horphag Research and distributed in the US by Natural Health Science, it has been the subject of scores of clinical studies suggesting benefits covering everything from cardiovascular, joint, cognitive and eye health to the relief of hay fever, PMS, tinnitus, haemorrhoidal pain and menopause symptoms.