Plandaí Biotechnology’s corporate HQ is in Seattle but its core operations are in South Africa, where it will grow tea, fruits and vegetables, and produce proprietary botanical extracts for the dietary supplement, functional food and cosmeceutical sectors.
According to a research report prepared by Murphy Analytics, Plandaí will be able to offer bioavailability rates of 60-80% for green tea extracts compared with 1-10% for extracts currently on the market by utilizing proprietary technology co-invented by Plandaí ceo Roger Duffield to extract bio-available compounds from plants.
Vice president Callum Baylis-Duffield declined to give NutraIngredients-USA details of how the process worked, however, adding: “This is proprietary technology and my legal team has advised me not to divulge any information at this stage.
“We are fully covered from an IP and patent point of view and right now we are looking at all our options across the board.”
2013 commercial launch
He added: “Our Phytofare branded products will be entered into the market in 2013 on a commercial basis, worldwide.”
He also claimed to be in “talks with many large scale producers” from “both an R&D perspective as well as a straight sales perspective” about applications for Plandai’s gallate catechin extract in products supporting weight loss, cholesterol-lowering, blood pressure regulation and blood glucose control.
The firm’s extracts will include gallate catechins from green tea, catechin gallate (CG), epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), gallocatechin gallate (GCG), and epicatechin gallate (ECG); carotenoids (lycopene) from tomatoes, plus citrus bioflavonoids and limonoids.
Process increases levels of more bioavailable cis-lycopene isomers in tomato samples
According to a study published online ahead of print in Food Chemistry (June 2012 pp1156-1160), levels of the more bioavailable cis-lycopene isomers increased significantly when tomato samples were treated using Plandaí's proprietary method.
A larger amount of total lycopene was also extracted from treated tomato samples than untreated samples.
In the study, ‘Effects of a hydrodynamic process on extraction of carotenoids from tomato’, research biologist Dr. Betty Ishida evaluated the results of using “a proprietary hydrodynamic method” for treating tomato samples and found that it increased extracted cis-lycopene to as high as 43% of the total lycopene (vs 8-9% for untreated samples).
She added: “In nature, lycopene exists almost exclusively as the all-trans stereoisomer. Cis-lycopene isomers form during cooking and digestion, resulting in higher percentages in plasma and tissues than ingested. Cis-lycopene isomers are more bioavailable than all-trans lycopene.”
More energy efficient, less costly
While heat treatment of tomato oleoresin and supercritical fluid treatment plus heat also increased percentages of cis-lycopene isomers, Plandaí's process was cheaper and more efficient, said Ishida.
“It seems that this hydrodynamic process might provide a more energy-efficient and therefore less costly method of producing a high cis-lycopene food source.
“This proprietary hydrodynamic method of treating vegetable matter provides increased accessibility of carotenoids to extraction procedures on tomato, while changing the stereoisomeric profile of lycopene to one that is more bioavailable and therefore more beneficial to consumers.”
Increased accessibility of valuable phytonutrients
She added: “Because many mechanical processes typically employed to disrupt tissues (cutting, shearing, macerating) contribute to thermal or oxidative degradation of labile, biologically active molecules, alternative, gentler disrupting methods should be evaluated.
“One such method is the use of hydrodynamic methods to decrease the size of particles, while possibly altering the stereochemical form of the carotenoids.”
“This treatment is believed to result in increased accessibility of valuable phytonutrients present in the fruit, possibly by releasing them from membrane entrapment by disruption or solubilisation."