INS Farms is the partnership of Innovative Natural Solutions and a grower named Norm’s Farms. The company was founded on the cultivation and popularization of black elderberry ingredients.
Company founded on black elderberry
INS Farms’ original acreage was near Purdy, Missouri. The company also says it is partnering with growers in Florida and elsewhere to increase the supply of this berry, which INS president Devon Bennett says is still below market demand.
Bennett said he was first introduced to berry cultivation as a food and supplement ingredient raw material source during a Future Farmers of American (FFA) trip to Europe. After seeing large black elderberry acreage, Bennett began testing cultivation in Missouri.
Black elderberry (Sambucus nigra) is a flowering shrub native to Europe and North America that has been used by man for hundreds if not thousands of years.
“Black elder (Sambucus nigra L.) has a long ethnobotanical history across many disparate cultures as a treatment for viral infection and is currently one of the most-used medicinal plants worldwide,” said a recent review by researchers based in Washington State of its immune health effects.
Now with the partnership with Asiros, which is based in Copenhagen, Bennett is helping to bring some of those European berry ingredients to a North American audience.
“Organoleptically, Asiros’ berry ingredients are viable for foods and beverages as the powders retain the vibrant colors, tastes and aromas,” Bennett noted. “They are also water-soluble, free of carriers and do not need to be spray dried or have maltodextrin or magnesium hydroxide added. All Asiros’ berry extracts are standardized for both anthocyanins and polyphenols using advanced analytical equipment and test methods that provide consistent accurate results.”
And since Asiros has secure supply relationships with growers in a number of regions, it further secures the supply for these botanicals, Bennett said.
“We now have a partner in Europe that can supply us with quality elderberry, which strengthens our abilities to grow the business and generate greater sales,” he said.
Vertically integrated partner
Asiros has a similar story to that of INS Farms in that it is vertically integrated and has been pushing the benefits of a particular ingredient, which in Asiros’ case is the Nordic redcurrant (Ribes rubrum), which is said to be high in omega-3-6-9 oil fractions. The botanical also includes a particular polyphenol which Asiros has branded as Ribetril A. It has researched the compound for its mitochondrial genesis support function.
Asiros also has a technology it calls Berryshield, by which the berry powders are gently dried and then encapsulated in such a way as to protect the delicate polyphenol fractions. As these compounds are by their very nature prone to react quickly and easily with oxygen, grinding them up in to a powder could be a recipe for quick degradation without further protection.
Asiros installed the patented berry production technology at its processing facility west of Copenhagen, which it purchased in 2016.