Cypress Systems founder and CEO Paul Willis said that while minerals are trace constituents in most formulas and so escape the same kind of scrutiny that is applied to some other constituents, these ingredients are crucial for human health and their performance within a formulation should be a matter of importance.
Crucial nature of trace minerals
“I think it was Linus Pauling who said every disease can be traced at some point to an organic mineral deficiency,” Willis said.
The company’s foundational ingredient is called SelenoExcell, and is a more highly bioavailable form of selenium.
“Our basic technology was originally center on binding minerals to yeast. The yeast does well with selenium and chromium,” Willis told NutraIngredients-USA.
The company was able to amass enough data to back the absorption profile of that ingredient that it was chosen for use in an NIH-funded paper on selenium and prostate cancer. The authors concluded that the form of the selenium used in a supplement was crucial to its performance.
“Results from clinical trials suggest that selenium-enriched yeast (SY) but not selenomethionine (SeMet) may be effective at reducing prostate cancer risk,” they wrote.
Performance in plants proves the advantage
Willis said that set the stage for the company’s new line of minerals. But he said he had to look beyond his company’s core competency to create a line of minerals that matched his expectations.
“That set the standard for our commitment to trace mineral performance. Form really does make a difference. For our base technology, the yeast doesn’t really take up enough zinc or magnesium. And in any case, iron and copper are toxic to the yeast,” Willis said.
Willis said during a trip to South America he was exposed to the technology of a company that has now become a formulation partner in the project. That company was at the time focused on chelating minerals to make them more bioavailable for use in fertilizers.
“You could see the difference when these were applied to crops such as sugar cane. In one field you’d have more lush growth, bigger root balls and so forth. Plants prove the validity of a product really quick,” Willis said.
New line backed by hard performance data
The new line of ingredients is branded as TheCHELATES. Willis said they are formulated to be as close to the food form of the minerals as possible.
“Having premium minerals in the right dose, backed by gold-standard research, can be a distinct competitive advantage,” he said.
Willis said the new line will provide formulation flexibility that gets around some of the standard limitations of inorganic forms of minerals. And the demonstrated higher bioavailability means a cost in use calculation can be done to make the minerals easier to fit into a multi ingredient formula. But he admitted the products will struggle to compete with the inorganic salt forms of many of these minerals if all a manufacturer is concerned about is having a name on a label.
“Any quality ingredient is going to exact a price, and if a client just wants to ‘check a box,’ then they might not consider our products,” Willis said.
“I guess I get on my soap box about misrepresentation about what consumers think they’re getting. Adding more of a bad ingredient doesn’t make it better,” he said.
Not necessarily new, but better
Willis said he’s well aware that chelated minerals are nothing new, having been in the marketplace since the mid 1990s. But he said CypressSystems is willing to back up with hard data the superior performance of their new line to justify a decision on the part of a formulator to make a switch.
“We realize that we are coming in to this market well after the original ingredients. But in looking at the market we saw some opportunities to draw a real quality distinction. We have excellent analytics to justify that these are truly premium ingredients. I wouldn’t launch anything I couldn’t stand tall with,” he said.
The new line of chelated minerals consists of the following offerings:
- Ferrous bisglycinate
- Magnesium bisglycinate
- Calcium bisglycinate
- Calcium citrate malate
- Chromium picolinate
- Manganese bisglycinate
- Copper bisglycinate
- Zinc bisglycinate.