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Ideal for adaptogen supplement solutions and natural preservatives in food and beverages.

Conagen announced the commercialisation of its 99 % high-purity salidroside made by bioconversion technology, an active ingredient from the herbal plant Rhodiola rosea (golden root). Its strong antioxidant properties as an adaptogen are associated with reducing inflammation, protecting against oxidative stress in cells, and providing relief from depression, fatigue, and stress. Salidroside has also been used to alleviate high altitude sickness.

Unlike other salidroside products currently on the market, Conagen’s salidroside is non-GMO. Conagen leveraged its industry-leading bioconversion technology to produce clean, sustainable salidroside, identical to the compound naturally found in the Rhodiola rosea plant – the same technology used to produce non-GMO Rebaudioside M, other steviol glycosides, and bitter blockers for sugar reduction solutions which are available from their pipeline partner, Sweegen.

Conagen’s 99 % high-purity salidroside, made by bioconversion, is ideal for non-GMO supplement solutions to formulate products with a sustainable and natural consumer appeal. It is readily soluble in water and is very formulable in food and beverage applications.

“We’re reimagining the way in which rare ingredients are sourced to make them safer and higher-quality for use in health-promoting products,” said Casey Lippmeier, Ph.D., senior vice president of innovation at Conagen. “Our bioconversion technology enables us to deliver non-GMO products. Through this technology, we’re unlocking salidroside’s great potential as a powerful active health ingredient and as a tool for food and beverage producers to adopt a more natural way to preserve food and beverages.”

Food and beverage producers benefit from Conagen’s salidroside as it also possesses antimicrobial properties, making it useful as a natural preservative solution for brands seeking alternatives to artificial preservatives. Salidroside expands Conagen’s portfolio of natural preservatives, such as Taxifolin BC-DHQ® and Rosavel rosmarinic acid, currently available from another pipeline partner, Blue California.

Stress reduction is popular among consumers, typically addressed by exercise or indulgence in food and beverages. More consumers are taking a holistic approach to their health, including their mental well-being and sleep. They are exploring adaptogens as one of the additional positive ways to add an edge to their diets and lifestyles.

“Salidroside is one of the rare, natural molecules with proven adaptogenic activities which correlates to stress reduction,” said Lippmeier. “Initially identified in botanical extracts, adaptogens are promising new options in the quest to relieve the stress of our daily lives. This trend opens new opportunities for supplement brands and food and beverage manufacturers to adopt a health-focused profile for their products.”

Conagen accelerated salidroside production by leveraging one of its proprietary molecular platforms, which have also been used to produce the clean antioxidants hydroxytyrosol and p-coumaric acid. Salidroside is a glucoside of tyrosol. Conagen’s antimicrobial and antioxidant compounds, hydroxytyrosol and p-coumaric acid are also now available through Blue California.

The inputs of fermentation are tightly controlled, dramatically reducing the chance of contamination with heavy metals, fungal toxins, and other unsafe materials that may be found in traditional medicine preparations. Rhodiola rosea extract is most commonly used in Europe and Asia. Its medicinal use for reducing stress and depression can be traced back to the Ming Dynasty in the classic medicinal scripture Compendium of Materia Medica.

The fruit, starch and sugar group AGRANA is expanding its distribution activities in its starch segment and has acquired 100 % of shares in the US distribution company Marroquin Organic International Inc. based in Santa Cruz (California). Marroquin Organic has 29 years of experience supplying organic and non-GMO ingredients and has grown to over $20 Million in annual revenue. Marroquin Organic International is a long-standing distribution partner of AGRANA Stärke-GmbH.

AGRANA CEO Johann Marihart: “Marroquin Organic International is a pioneer in the organic and non-GMO food ingredient sector in the USA and enjoys a correspondingly high reputation in the market. This acquisition is a perfect fit in terms of implementing our specialities strategy in the starch segment. AGRANA possesses many years of experience in the production of specialty starches and is increasingly focusing on baby food and clean label starches which have not been chemically modified. The organic origins and non-GMO status of our products are increasingly appreciated by customers and users alike, particularly in the USA where, with starch largely being based on genetically-modified corn, demand for non-GMO starches is rising.” With a volume of USD 17 billion (2017), the US market for packaged organic foods, the world’s largest according to Euromonitor, is forecast to grow 8.2% per year in the period to 2023.

Grace Marroquin, founder of Marroquin Organic International: “Teaming up with AGRANA is a natural choice for us. We’ve been working with their outstanding product line for over 20 years, helping the industry to grow and innovate. AGRANA is well-positioned to support the organic and non-GMO market as it continues to grow in North America”. Marroquin Organic International was founded by Grace Marroquin in 1991, when she recognized the need for certified organic, specialty ingredients in the US market.

Specialities strategy

In its starch segment, AGRANA processes potatoes, corn and wheat to make numerous different starch products for the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries as well as for numerous technical applications. With three starch mills in Austria and a production site in both Hungary and Romania respectively, AGRANA has established itself as a key producer of customer-oriented speciality products. As part of its specialities strategy, AGRANA offers the food industry a wide range of non-GMO and organic products.