Danish biotech company Asiros is hoping that 3DX-BILBERRY, a product which uses bilberries originating from the EU, will be popular in Europe and beyond.
The extract can be used in supplements and is also hoping to prove a hit in the sports nutrition and functional food markets.
Asiros is sourcing and processing the extract, building a dedicated extraction facility with around 10 specialists working to make the extract, amid an industry increasingly demanding about the provenance of products.
While it is entering a competitive market, Asiros chief executive doctor Morten Weidner believes the extract has a number of advantages over rivals and is targeting both new and existing bilberry users who want an upgrade.
“New generation” bilberry
One key difference, according to doctor Weidner, is that in addition to containing at least 36% anthocyanins, which represents the industry standard, the extract, unlike some of its competitors, contains other active compounds which he says have health benefits.
Asiros used technology to analyse these active compounds and optimise the extraction.
Speaking to NutraIngredients, doctor Weidner said: “What we have done is make an extract that does contain the 36% anthocyanins that is so important.
“But it is not the full story behind the effects. Instead of having just fillers in there , we actually have other compounds, other polyphenols from bilberries in there, making a complete new generation of bilberry extracts.”
Commenting on some of the competition, he said: “There is a huge variation. Some were clearly living up to what they were supposed to, others were not.
“Even those that contained 36% anthocyanins, many of them didn’t contain anything else. They were using fillers with no effects.”
“Cheaper” on price
Weidner also said its extract will beat competitors on price.
“While other bilberry extracts go for above €400 a kilo, some up to €600 a kilo we can actually sell it at below €400 and still have a better quality,” he told us.
Bilberries are used as a remedy for diarrhoea, varicose veins, poor circulation and eye problems.
The extract’s focus will be on treatment of sight degeneration. Bilberry extracts have been shown to protect the central part of the retina.
“We are coming out with something that is broadly known in the market but by making a huge improvement on we believe we are really making a cutting edge product,” doctor Weidner told us.
The bilberries from this extract are grown in the vast wild forest of Northern Europe. Others are grown in North America and northern Asia.