Cranberry players unite

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Symrise-Diana Food has paid an undisclosed sum for Nutra Canada
Symrise-Diana Food has paid an undisclosed sum for Nutra Canada

Related tags Urinary tract infection Nutrition

Botanicals firm Diana Food has bought a Canadian start-up to expand its technology and footprint in cranberry and other fruits and pursue novel health domains.

Diana Food – based in France but since 2014 owned by increasingly nutrition-facing German flavours and fragrance house Symrise – ​paid an undisclosed sum for Quebec-based Nutra Canada, mainly for its “breakthrough solutions”​ in cranberry processing and North American sales footprint.

Diana Food global category director in consumer health Stéphanie Pretesacque told NutraIngredients: “Having built a strong position in the traditional uses of cranberry and blueberry extracts, Nutra Canada has recently developed breakthrough solutions addressing major consumer health issues including cognitive health and diabetes prevention.”

8-year-old Nutra Canada has applied its EcoCert, GMP and Kosher-certified technology to blueberries, strawberries, onions, spinach and broccoli as well as cranberries.

Pretesacque said Diana wanted to consolidate its cranberry presence in North America and beyond, as well as in other botanicals.

Cranberry has been one of our main fields of expertise for many years, alongside acerola and apple,” ​he said.

“This integration comes at the right time to allow us to benefit from direct and preferential access to cranberry for an optimised service to our customers: a wide product range, a safe supply chain, an increased production capacity and a portfolio of products enriched by innovative natural products that are clinically proven.”

‘Great opprtunity’

Nutra Canada has targeted food supplements, foods and cosmeceuticals in global markets with its organic cranberry offerings.

“Nutra Canada being part of Diana Food is a great opportunity to increase Nutra Canada’s growth and enhance our know-how worldwide,​” said Nutra Canada president André Gosselin.
Cranberry extracts do not possess a European Union health claim but are backed in other jurisdictions like South Korea, Canada and the US, most commonly for urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Cystitis cranberry urinary tract infection iStock.com designer491
© iStock

Cranberry extracts remain on-sale in drinks and supplements without claims but are being used as medical devices in the EU, a semi-pharmacological route where products, somewhat controversially​, claim to treat UTI and other ailments because of different data demands than under the EU nutrition and health claims regulation (NHCR).

Diana said research was showing cranberry benefits in diabetes and cognitive health due to the antioxidant content of the berry.

Symrise, the fourth biggest fragrance & flavours house in the world after Givaudan, Firmenich and International Flavors & Fragrances, paid private equity firm Ardian about €1.3bn for Diana in 2014, bringing its combined group sales to about €2.3bn.

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