The new products - olive leaf extracts standardized to 15% or 25% oleuropein - enable buyers to include efficacious doses and meet marketers’ price points, said the firm, which also sells a more expensive 40% oleuropein product.
Sales and marketing manager Tom Winn told NutraIngredients-USA: “The 15% and 25% oleuropein are the most popular specifications in the market.”
Recent surge in interest
A flurry of olive ingredients boasting high percentages of the phytochemicals oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol have recently flooded the market following a positive opinion from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) supporting claims about olive polyphenols for reducing oxidized LDL cholesterol, an emerging risk factor for atherosclerosis.
“We’ve definitely seen an increase in demand and enquiries recently”, said Winn.
We’ve also seen a lot of new extracts hit the market lately, a lot of them from China. But ours consistently meet specifications.”
He added: “I don’t know if the EFSA opinion is driving demand or whether interest in olive extracts is growing generally with awareness of the benefits of the Mediterranean diet.
“We’ve supplied olive extracts for several years as a special order item, but we’re now holding them in stock owing to the increased interest. It’s a sign they are getting more mainstream.”
The olive leaf extracts - available via Phytochem International in Ontario, California (click here) - are extracted using an ethanol and water-based method, and are tested by HPLC, he added.
While a lot of the buzz around hydroxytyrosol has focused on cardiovascular health following the EFSA opinion, there is a growing number of clinical studies showing olive polyphenols as effective against everything from UVB-induced DNA damage to platelet aggregation in the blood and as an anti-microbial, or antioxidant in foods, according to Californian olive polyphenol expert CreAgri.
However, its ability to tackle the low-grade inflammation believed to be at the root of scores of chronic diseases is equally exciting, CreAgri director of communications Paolo Pontoniere told NutraIngredients-USA last week.
“There is a lot of interest in joint health, cardiovascular health and skin health, but I think that inflammation is a very big opportunity.
“We are all walking around with low level inflammation and we know that Hidrox [CreAgri’s patented anti-inflammatory ingredient from olive juice] can stop the cytokine cascade.”