The technology, which took five years to research, is targeted towards high-value and fat-soluble medications and foods, including CBD oil, curcumin, and Vitamin D.
The firm claims the technology can increase the absorption of CBD oil by up to 40 times.
Poor absorption and taste
Fat-soluble molecules have poor bioavailability as they do not dissolve well and reach the bloodstream. As such, a higher dosage needs to be ingested. The firm said this was both wasteful and costly.
Project leader and head of Holista's Technical Advisory Panel, Dr. Roscoe Moore Jr said: “Most medicine consumed orally is wasted due to its poor absorption by the body. This is especially true for CBD, which is also expensive.”
The new formulation can also taste-mask unpleasant taste in CBD oil. CBD oil has an earthy, musky and lingering bitter taste due to the high concentration of organic compounds, which makes formulation for oral consumption difficult.
The taste masking technology obtained an FDA-approved 'Generally Regarded as Safe' (GRAS) status to allow wider applications in pharmaceutical and food with oral dosing.
Ready for CBD
Holista is focusing on fat-soluble substances such as CBD, with the food and nutraceutical markets in Australia and North America key targets.
The firm is in talks with several Canadian firms and agreements are expected to be completed in Q2 2020.
Dr. Rajen Manicka, chairman of Holista told NutraIngredients-Asia: “We anticipate signing formulation agreements (precursor to the licensing process) so that they can add the ingredients and have this approved for ingestion by FDA/TGA. If their existing product is approved, they need only apply for a listing to add these ingredients.”
Canada is home to a growing CBD edibles market, “They are putting CBD into coffee, candy, chocolate, cake, drinks etc,” Manicka added.
He said a water-soluble and taste-mask solution that was easy to formulate, would be advantageous in this market.
Australia approved medical cannabis in 2016 and is working towards liberalising this space further. According to a 2016 University of Sydney report, "Medicinal Cannabis in Australia: Science, Regulation & Industry", found that the Australian medicinal cannabis market, if it emulates cannabis regulations in Netherlands and Canada, may produce demand for as much as 8,000 kg of product.
Manicka also expressed that CBD was becoming more mainstream: "We note that there is growing consensus in the medical community that CBD can be used to improve patient outcomes for conditions such as seizure, inflammation, pain, psychosis or mental disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, nausea, migraines, depression, anxiety."
King of botanicals - Turmeric
Besides CBD, Manicka told us the firm is also working on other fat-soluble substances including turmeric, vitamin D and cinnamon.
“Turmeric is the most researched botanical on the planet right now. It has plenty of benefits from anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, to mild sugar reducing effect, and cholesterol lowering,” he said.
He told us while turmeric was consumed frequently, the main challenge was its poor absorption. “You need a high dosage for people to obtain the benefits. However, when you use the water-soluble technology on turmeric, you can lower the dosage, and most of it will be absorbed.”
“We were able to increase the bioavailability by more than 90%, which is more than what we achieved with CBD oil at 40 times. We are finding users reporting back with exceptional and almost immediate improvements in dementia patients, as the curcumin in turmeric now appears to be able to cross the blood-brain barrier,
Our early experiments prove positive, but we will be encouraging others to take the licences and integrate this formulation with their existing (approved) products.”
Although, he stressed, “Our early experiments have still to be trialed and independently validated, but many users are already becoming advocates for the turmeric.”