The patent covers the use of saffron, the saffron extracts crocin and picrocrocin, and derivatives of these as a satiety agent in support of a healthy weight.
Seth Flowerman, business development, PL Thomas, the exclusive North American distributor of Satiereal saffron extract, told NutraIngredients-USA: “Satiereal has been a breakout hit in 2012 with major growth in the health food channel (especially GNC and Whole Foods) and direct to consumer channel (especially QVC).
“The growth should continue to ramp up in 2013 as a major MLM company has picked up Satiereal for an early 2013 launch and there are a number of ongoing discussions with key supplement companies for FD&M.
“As a water-soluble, GRAS ingredient, Satiereal is also available for use in food and beverage applications, and there are significant opportunities for satiety or weight-management food and beverages.”
The Canadian patent extends the intellectual property protection of Satiereal into North America for the first time.
Despite Satiereal being covered by US Trademark #3,692,761 and US Patent application 2010/0028464, the success has allegedly led to copy-cat saffron-based products being released onto the markets which “inappropriately use the Satiereal brand or claim” but do not use the same proprietary ingredient selection and extraction processes.
INO’Réal is currently involved in litigation with several of these producers over trademark infringement, said the company, and the case Inoreal v. Nutra Pure et al., Case No. 8:12-cv-1760, is currently pending in the US District Court for the Middle District of Florida.
Furthermore, Flowerman alleges that a press release from Satium Health released yesterday is an “unauthorized use of the Satiereal name and does not include the clinically supported Satiereal extract.
“This is particularly misleading because the knock-off products we have evaluated do not have the activity level to support the claims being made.”
Flowerman added that INO’Réal sent a warning letter was sent to Satium Health on September 20th, 2012.
Two randomized, double-blind placebo controlled clinical trials support weight loss potential of the ingredient, said the companies. A four-week pilot study featuring eight subjects and an eight-week trial published in Nutrition Research (2010, Vol. 30, pp. 305-313).
These indicated that Satiereal intake could decrease snacking by 55% compared to a 27% reduction in the placebo group. An 84% decrease in appetite was also observed in the Satiereal group vs. 52% in the placebo group.
“Our partner’s investment in intellectual property protection helps secure the future for this exciting ingredient – such that our product development partners will be comfortable investing in their own products and brands and consumers will know that they are getting the highest quality, clinically-proven products,” said Flowerman.
Flowerman confirmed that a significant clinical trial in the recruitment phase that should be completed by Q2 or Q3 2013. However, details are still confidential, he added.