With consumer expectations around sustainability higher than ever, the natural products ingredient firm declared its commitment to accelerate their full-sustainability plan. The company told NutraIngredients-USA that they’re taking their regenerative efforts to the next level, focusing on “drum-to-hopper” ingredients that are clean-label by design.
The centerpiece of the initiative is the upcycling of raw materials that are typically discarded.
“New ingredients are being developed all the time in our industry, but bringing products to the market that are effective, safe and have a story that speaks to a greater good is the sweet spot we are aiming for when we choose our prospective partners,” said Dr. Shavon Jackson-Michel, Director of Medical & Scientific Affairs for DolCas. “Our move to zero-waste is more about our internal processing for nurturing the earth, even as we exploit it. We have such a strong line-up of zero-waste ingredients, because we have chosen manufacturers that have internalized this vision and run their operations based on this ethos.”
A new market for waste
Once such example is Bergacyn liver support complex, which is a zero-waste product made with bergamot (Citrus bergamia) fruit polyphenols, fiber, and wild-crafted artichoke thistle leaf (Cynara cardunculus sylvestris).
Jackson-Michel explained, “The fruit itself – pulp and juice included — were considered nothing more than waste. In fact, it’s been reported that it takes roughly 100 bergamot fruits to produce a mere three ounces of essential oil. This constitutes substantial loss.”
An extraction process is applied to these native botanicals, resulting in a solvent-free, potent, clinically-studied bioactive compound with multi-targeted use.
“There’s a saying that ‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure’ – I think this applies in many of the product’s we’ve highlighted,” said Jackson-Michel. “The bergamot fruit for instance, was previously the ‘waste’ of the perfume industry, it has now become the base of our Bergacyn FF ingredient. Fish skin was the waste of the fish industry and is now the upcycled base for MoriKol.”
Indeed, MoriKol collagen is derived from otherwise discarded fish remnants. Marine collagen delivers 15% of tripeptides that Dolcas claims are more efficiently absorbed, adding that they encourage collagen building by stimulating its growth and offer UV-damage protection.
“On the other hand,” said Jackson-Michel, “TruOliv waste material has become the source of olive tree, smoke-free charcoal and the same for Curcugen, to which its waste becomes an upcycled material for culinary use.”
TruOliv, a polyphenol extract that is composed of Moroccan-grown olive leaves and whole fruit, including the skin and flesh. The resulting byproduct is upcycled into smoke-free, natural charcoal briquettes for a completely zero-waste process.
As Jackson-Michel alluded to, Curcugen is a 50% concentrated full spectrum curcuminoid ingredient that conforms to both zero-waste and eco-friendly initiatives. The agro-fueled manufacturing process generates a clean, food-grade byproduct that is upcycled into a base ingredient.
DolCas’ added that the company has also committed to reduced plastic use by shipping Curcugen in recyclable waxed, cardboard drums.
As the natural products ingredient firm continues to maintain its investment in the Earth, Dolcas hopes their efforts catch on in the wider nutraceuticals industry.
“Our eyeing of a zero-waste future for nutraceuticals is one that we hope can pioneer a new perspective,” said Jackson-Michel. “Our promoting this initiative shows others manufacturers that we can all contribute a little if we lean into our ingenuity a bit more. Our partners have done this in a variety of ways, sometimes it is the vision going in, and other times it’s the ‘Ah-Ha!’moment that comes after the ‘waste’ is produced.”