Distributor offers only quercetin with GRAS status, official says

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

Quercetin is present in many plants, including sea buckthorn.
Quercetin is present in many plants, including sea buckthorn.
Novel Ingredients Services is now distributing what the company calls “the best quercetin available” after an agreement with manufacturer Quercegyn Pharmaceuticals.  Continued growth in the sports nutrition market should boost application of the ingredient, a company official says.

Novel​, an ingredient supplier based in West Caldwell, NJ, says the ingredient, branded as QU995, differs from other quercetin ingredients on the market in several important ways.

First, it is the only “food grade” quercetin available, said Bob Green, president of Novel.

“QU995 achieved FDA GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) Notified Status on November 22, 2010.  It is the only quercetin that has GRAS Notified Status and is the only food-grade quercetin on the market,”​ Green told NutraIngredients-USA.

Drier and more pure

Another way in which QU995 differs from other quercetin ingredients is in its chemical formulation and its purity, Green said.  QU995 is  highly-pure quercetin anhydrous, whereas most other quercetin ingredients on the market are in the quercetin dihydrate form.  The two forms differ in the amount of water they contain.

QU995 is produced in a pharmaceutical grade factory, Green said, which yields a high-quality end product.  Controlled drying keeps moisture down to 1% to 4% in the end product, and acid hyrdrolysis is used to strip off sugars that are attached to the quercetin molecule in its natural form.

QU995 contains only 1% to 4% moisture (by LOD) – thanks to manufacturing that uses controlled drying to remove most of the water.  In addition, the sugars that are attached to quercetin in its natural form have been extracted using acid hydrolysis. 

“This produces high-purity (99.5% pure by HPLC external method) quercetin anhydrous powder that contains at least 13% more quercetin per gram than the dihydrate form.  For formula designers and manufacturers, this means there is substantially less bulk per capsule or tablet,”​ Green said.

Recent research

As a substance, quercetin has been known for more than 150 years.  But research into the ingredient’s benefits has only heated up in recent decades, and research on the QU995 ingredient specifically has ramped up, Green said.

“There have been three decades of human clinical research – multiple studies on thousands of subjects – that support quercetin’s strong antioxidant action.  However, QU99 was only introduced in 2005.  But since that time, QU995 has become the quercetin form of choice among clinical researchers.  To date, there are almost 50 studies using QU995 that have been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals,”​ Green said. 

In the US, research on QU995 has been conducted by the North Carolina Research Center, Applachian State Univeristy, the UCLA Medical Center and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard University.

According to Green, quercetin’s potent antioxidant activity has been researched for the following benefits:

  • Energy metabolism
  • Joint health
  • Sports performance and recovery
  • Immune function
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Mitochondrial biogenesis.

Sports nutrition still the biggie

Quercegyn Pharmaceuticals​ advertises an immune system support chew containing QU995 on its website.  Nevertheless, the main sphere is which quercetin appears as an ingredient is in sports nutrition, and QU995 is already being employed by The FRS Company, which built its entire brand message around the ingredient’s benefits.

Having one major player already hawking quercetin shouldn’t be an impediment to future growth, Green said.

“This market – especially functional beverages – is huge and still growing.  Any one brand is just a fraction of the market.  There is plenty of room for many, many products to use QU995 as a key component,”​ Green said.

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