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Nektium is launching an organic version of its elderberry extract as consumer demand for natural ingredients with antiviral properties continues to rise. The botanicals specialist is also releasing a more concentrated version of the product.

The global market for organic food and drink products is expected to expand at a CAGR of 11 % per year, reaching a value of $220 billion by 20241, while the popularity of organic supplements is also on the rise.

Alongside this, demand for elderberry has been growing since the start of the pandemic, with consumers increasingly seeking natural ingredients that have a positive immune effect. Elderberries contain a high concentration of active ingredients, including phenolic compounds such as anthocyanins, which have been shown to reduce oxidative stress and ease flu-like symptoms.2

To meet demand for more concentrated extracts, Nektium is now adding a new grade of its elderberry line, containing 10 % anthocyanins. The 10 % variant will join the existing 6 % grade in the company’s portfolio, which will now also be available in organic form for the first time. Nektium’s elderberry portfolio comprises ingredients made from Black Elderberry (Sambucus nigra), which has been scientifically proven to effectively treat upper respiratory symptoms.3 4

Thomas Adler, Chief Business Officer at Nektium, said: “Demand for elderberry rose significantly when the pandemic hit and it became a top selling ingredient, having experienced a 150 % jump in sales compared with 2019. We are proud that we have been able to develop our portfolio to offer our customers higher standardisations of anthocyanins as well as an organic variant, which we believe will tap into the increasing popularity of all things organic and ingredients with a proven positive immune effect.”

Nektium is also confident the company can meet the ongoing demand for elderberry, despite reports of global raw material shortages.

Adler said: “The sudden and significant increase in demand for elderberry since the onset of Covid-19 led to a temporary shortage of raw materials for many producers and we have also seen a rise in inferior low-quality products hitting the market. At Nektium we have a trusted source of raw materials because long-term partnerships are important to us. We also ensure our suppliers comply with the highest of standards and therefore we are confident we can continue to supply our high-quality elderberry extract to meet the ongoing popularity of this ingredient.”

1Research and Markets, Organic Food and Beverages Market – Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 – 2027), June 2022
2Wieland LS, Piechotta V, Feinberg T, Ludeman E, Hutton B, Kanji S, Seely D, Garritty C. Elderberry for prevention and treatment of viral respiratory illnesses: a systematic review. BMC Complement Med Ther. 2021 Apr 7;21(1):112. doi: 10.1186/s12906-021-03283-5. PMID: 33827515; PMCID: PMC8026097.
3Hawkins J, Baker C, Cherry L, Dunne E. Black elderberry (Sambucus nigra) supplementation effectively treats upper respiratory symptoms: A meta-analysis of randomized, controlled clinical trials. Complement Ther Med. 2019 Feb;42:361-365. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2018.12.004. Epub 2018 Dec 18. PMID: 30670267.
4Porter RS, Bode RF. A Review of the Antiviral Properties of Black Elder (Sambucus nigra L.) Products. Phytother Res. 2017 Apr;31(4):533-554. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5782. Epub 2017 Feb 15. PMID: 28198157.

IPRONA, one of the world’s B2B market leaders for fruit processing, has introduced the first standardised and solvent-free tart cherry extract, CherryCraft®. The proprietary extract combines the proven properties of tart cherry with the expertise and infrastructure behind successful European black elderberry extract ElderCraft®.

Tart cherry has emerged as an important fruit in the sport recovery sector on the strength of studies linking it to effects on antioxidative capacity, inflammation and lipid peroxidation that influence how long it takes muscles to recalibrate after strenuous exercise. Other studies have linked the fruit to effects on sport performance, sleep and cardiovascular health. The growing body of evidence has alerted consumers to the role tart cherry can play in their exercise regimes.

Manufacturers that want to serve the growing market need tart cherry extracts standardized on polyphenols and anthocyanins, the fruit’s functional ingredients. Having gained deep expertise in polyphenols and anthocyanins from its work on ElderCraft®, IPRONA identified tart cherry as the ideal fruit for the expansion of its product line.

“Tart cherry is a highly promising ingredient in the sport recovery space,” said Stephan Breitenberger, CEO of IPRONA, “We are realising that promise by using our solvent-free production method and vertically integrated European supply chain to deliver an extract standardized to polyphenols and anthocyanins. We look forward to working with our partners to bring the benefits of tart cherry to more consumers through CherryCraft®.”

The product is made using the same gentle, solvent-free proprietary IPT – IPRONA Polyphenol Technology as ElderCraft® to make a standardised, premium-quality extract from European tart cherries without harming the fruit matrix. IPRONA sources the tart cherries used in CherryCraft® through its vertically integrated European supply chain, resulting in total traceability.

CherryCraft® is standardized to polyphenols and anthocyanins, giving manufacturers and consumers confidence in its properties, and is suitable for use in maltodextrin-free formulations, as IPRONA is also offering the extract with gum arabic as a carrier. The diversity of options equips manufacturers to use CherryCraft® in a range of formulations, helping them fully realise the potential of tart cherry.

About IPRONA
IPRONA is one of the world’s B2B market leaders for fruit processing. With nearly 40 years of experience serving a dynamic, international clientele, IPRONA is the peerless supplier of fruit-specific ingredients such as berry, citrus and tropical fruit concentrates, infusions from herbs and seeds, standardised red berry extracts, and customer-specific compounds.

Use of polyphenols in the analysis of fruit and vegetable juices and purées

Anthocyanins and flavanone glucosides have been used for years as part of the authenticity assessment of red/black and citrus juices, typically using IFU 71 & 58 respectively. These components comprise only a small selection of the polyphenolic compounds that are available to the analyst for the assessment of juices. The generalised use of polyphenolic compounds as a means of detecting mixtures of juice was developed by Wade’s group at Procter and Gamble in the late 80’s. This procedure works well in juices where there is a reducing environment, such as citrus juices, and produces stable peak profiles. However, in systems with active polyphenol oxidase (PPO) enzymes, such as apple, pear and bananas, some peaks can be lost, due to oxidation and subsequent polymerisation, so these profiles tend to be less stable.

Unlike the chromatograms seen with the anthocyanin procedure, which often only contain a few peaks , traces for the polyphenols are much more complex and generally contain many more peaks. Due to the complex nature of these chromatograms, it is generally impossible to use reference libraries for positive peak identification due to small shifts in retention times between chromatographic runs. This means that control samples should be run with each batch of test samples for comparison purposes unless positive identifications can be made by using more specific detectors, such as diode array (DAD) and/or ideally mass spectrometer (MS), where a positive identification can be made either from an accurate mass measurement or by specific “mother/daughter” transitions.

This recommendation has been published and is available via the IFU website under Methods of Analysis

Tohi Ventures, a Kansas City-based (US) healthy lifestyle brand, has introduced a line of four Aronia Berry-based functional beverages.

Aronia Berries are native to North America and were used historically for both their nutritional value and for medicinal purposes. Awareness of Aronia Berries is growing, buoyed by overall consumer interest in phytonutrients, plant compounds that have beneficial effects on human health. According to research, Aronia Berries top the list of more than 100 foods that have been scientifically tested for antioxidant capacity.

Tohi Ventures was founded by two female friends with significant entrepreneurial, investment, operational and scientific experience. “We are advocates of a nutrition first approach to wellness,” said Shari Coulter Ford, CEO and Co-Founder. “We are pioneering innovation around our core ingredient, with the goal of optimizing the nutritional value and potential health benefits of Aronia Berries in our products. We believe Aronia is a break-out category,” she continued.

Tohi has already received industry recognition, being named a finalist for the seventh annual SupplySide CPG Editor’s Choice Awards in the Functional Beverage category. Finalists were selected by the SupplySide editorial team for achievements in innovation and market impact.

“Tohi is the perfect blend of science and nature, flavor and functionality. The polyphenols and anthocyanins in Tohi beverages are naturally derived from Aronia Berries, which have been scientifically studied and linked to significant health benefits,” said Elma Hawkins, PhD, Co-Founder of Tohi Ventures.

Tohi beverages are attracting the attention of collegiate and professional sports teams, including Iowa State Football. “I’ve reviewed the clinical and academic research citing the health benefits of Aronia Berries, especially relative to sports performance. Tohi created a ready-to-drink beverage featuring Aronia Berries that’s perfect for our Fueling Stations. Getting the athletes to drink a healthy beverage is also easier when it tastes great! We also appreciate that Tohi buys from Iowa-based Aronia growers so we’re supporting the local farmers,” said Erin Hinderaker, Sports Dietitian at Iowa State University (MS, RD, LD, CSSD).

Tohi is perfect for corporate athletes as well, partnering with Company Kitchen to supply Tohi through their corporate network. “Company Kitchen provides workplace food service solutions to companies across the U.S. Our clients are focused on providing healthy options for their employees to increase wellness at work. Adding Tohi beverages to our lineup is a natural fit! We’re always looking for the next new thing that will meet the demands of our clients,” said John Barnes, Chief Operating Officer, Company Kitchen.

About Tohi Beverages
Tohi beverages are 30 % single strength Aronia Berry juice and 70 % hydration, available in four refreshing flavors: The Original, Blackberry Raspberry, Dragon Fruit and Ginger Lime. Tohi is non-carbonated and naturally low in calories, with no added sugars and just a hint of Monk Fruit for sweetness. Tohi beverages are packaged in eco-friendly, 12-ounce slim aluminum cans, available for purchase on Amazon.