‘Game changer’: ChromaDex inks deal with Suntava to produce concentrated anthocyanin ingredient

By Stephen Daniells contact

- Last updated on GMT

‘Game changer’: ChromaDex inks deal with Suntava to produce concentrated anthocyanin ingredient
Irvine, CA-based ChromaDex has signed a worldwide license and supply agreement for Suntava Purple Corn to produce a highly concentrated anthocyanin ingredient at a price point that should appeal to mass markets, the companies have announced.

“Anthocyanins are proven to have many health and wellness benefits; however, the high cost of therapeutically effective dose of concentrated anthocyanins has limited consumer interest and awareness,” ​said Frank Jaksch, CEO and co-founder of ChromaDex. “Suntava Purple Corn is a game changer that will give us a huge raw material cost advantage and allow us to produce an ingredient that we can market well below the current prices of other anthocyanin-rich extracts.”

The company said it believes there is a ready market for cost-effective concentrated anthocyanins having application in dietary supplements, sports nutrition, food & beverage and skin care.

Jaksch told NutraIngredients-USA that the company is already in pilot scale extraction. “We are currently growing our first purple corn which should be available for harvest in August.  We expect to be market ready for by mid-October,”​ he said.

The ingredient will be manufactured, branded and sold exclusively by ChromaDex, he added.  Suntava is the technology and growing partner.

Purple corn

The patent-pending Suntava Purple Corn is derived from a proprietary non-GMO purple corn hybrid which contains an extraordinarily high level of anthocyanins.

“Initially we will be growing in Indiana, but that is for the initial crop, we will most likely be cultivating somewhere in the Midwest, but we might also be growing in Florida over the winter months it we need continuous supply,” ​said Jaksch. The crop is handled, harvested, and processed using the same modern, efficient methods and equipment as traditional corn crops.

The ingredient will be a highly concentrated anthocyanin standardized extract, he added. “It will be a mixture of several of the most abundant anthocyanins on this hybrid of purple corn, however we have not finalized the composition, which we are working on right now in pilot development.”


Frank Jaksch Chromadex SSW NIU
"We expect to be market ready for by mid-October" - Frank Jaksch, ChromaDex

In terms of the potential health benefits and how ChromaDex will position the ingredient, Jaksch said that the company is going to focus on many of the well published anthocyanins health benefits, many which are linked to the red wine health benefits.  “Our core areas of focus for our purple corn anthocyanin ingredient are going to be blood sugar control, weight loss/control, blood pressure, eye health just to name a few,”​ he said.

“In reality we are really going to let the published data about the health benefits of anthocyanins and anthocyanin containing fruit, tell its own story,” ​he added. “Our sales and market approach is going to focus more on the fruit equivalents values of this highly concentrated anthocyanin extract.  For example 100mg of purple corn anthocyanin, would be equivalent to 100g of common fruits or vegetables such as blueberries, strawberries, apples, etc.

“There seems to be a real market trend these days, where companies are looking to offer specific ‘fruit equivalents’ in a cost effective capsule.”


Minnesota-based Suntava is the first US company to research, grow, and commercialize Suntava Purple Corn, derived from ancient strains of Andean maize using traditional cultivation​. Suntava has been dedicated to the mission of sustainably Purple corn (Zea mays​) is botanically the same species as regular table corn.

 “We could not have asked for a more ideal partner than ChromaDex,” ​said Bill Petrich, Suntava CEO. “They have demonstrated both the wherewithal and expertise in commercializing novel ingredient technologies. We look forward to working with ChromaDex in the future as we continue to explore new applications, as well as next generation versions of this amazing plant.”

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