Naturex Signs Agreement With Mazza Innovation on Phytochemical Extraction Technology

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11 Mar 2016 --- Naturex and Mazza Innovation have signed an exclusive Agreement for use of Mazza’s patented pressurized low-polarity water (PLPW) technology to extract phytochemicals from cranberries. As part of the Agreement, Mazza shall use its PhytoClean extraction process to produce cranberry extracts exclusively for Naturex in its newly opened facility in British Columbia. 

The PhytoClean Method is an earth-friendly way to extract bioactives from plants using only water and produces clean, non-solvent-derived ingredients. The green technology efficiently extracts bioactive compounds, including polyphenols, alkaloids, glycosides and specialty carbohydrates that can be used as ingredients for functional foods, dietary supplements and beauty products. 

Olivier Rigaud, CEO of NATUREX, commented: “This open innovation partnership with Mazza Ltd is a great opportunity to bring the global market new natural clean-label ingredients using environmental friendly technologies. As one of the foremost companies in the field of natural healthcare solutions, Naturex is fully aware of the importance of supporting innovative ideas and processes from various sources. The collaboration with Mazza Ltd is one of the first steps in our recently-launched global Open Innovation program.”

Doug Klaiber, CEO of the Naturex/DBS division told FoodIngredientsFirst: “Cranberry is well-known for its use for women in support of urinary tract health in the USA and Europe but it is less well-known in Asia and Latin America. Naturex has seen a growing awareness and interest in these regions which we are able to capture given our global reach. Regarding the PhytoClean technology, Naturex will continue to work with Mazza to explore its use for other plants and bioactive compounds.”

Benjamin Lightburn, president of Mazza Innovation told FoodIngredientsFirst: “Our business plan has always been prepared for a significant and rapid expansion. The partnership in cranberry with an industry leader like Naturex provides excellent confirmation of our premium-quality ingredients and advanced environment-friendly process. It also provides justification of our aggressive expansion plans and gives us an incentive to go to the market even more intensively with a variety of cost-effective, premium-quality botanical extracts beyond our first three products of cranberry, blueberry and green tea extracts. Mazza is now open for business and looking to discuss collaborations with customer partners in nutraceuticals, functional foods, supplements and personal care.”

The new commercial facility is 38,000 sq. ft. (3530 sq. m), which includes a full research and development lab plus quality assurance and quality control departments in addition to the extraction production area. “Our current single commercial-scale extractor can process up to one million kg of biomass per year and can switch from cranberry to blueberry to green tea and other raw ingredients quite rapidly. Each extractor sits on a very small footprint in the facility and we can easily fit six separate extractors inside the 38,000 sq. foot facility when the business is fully expanded,” he added.

Lightburn noted that there is a big concern in the global ingredients marketplace in terms of clean label, cost-effectiveness and quality assurance with traditional solvent-based extraction methods. “As our PhytoClean extraction technology continues to displace these antiquated extraction technologies, we expect significant sales opportunities and growth in Asia and continued growth in Europe. We are confident the cost-benefit analysis of quality, environmental friendliness and price makes switching to our advanced extraction process a compelling business case for many companies which currently use extracted ingredients,” he says.

“Beyond our first three products of cranberry, green tea and blueberry, we’ve tested more than 30 different potential botanical extraction ingredients and confirmed that our process is effective and commercially scalable in a wide variety of botanicals. We’ll be looking to talk to potential customers in all these markets.” 

“We also expect to see new opportunities in the personal care and beauty markets and to this end we’ll be attending and meeting potential customers and collaborative partners at the in-cosmetics leading global trade fair for personal care products in Paris in April and the Vitafoods 2016 nutraceuticals, functional foods and supplements trade show in Geneva in May. We are also inviting inbound inquiries and proposals from potential customers in all these markets.”

Earlier this week, Naturex is launching INGENIUM, an Open Innovation Initiative with the goal of advancing technological breakthroughs by sourcing and supporting innovative ideas from various sources. As part of this program, NATUREX will be partnering with new start-up companies whose promising business ideas and technologies may be valuable to the company's development. Partnerships will include extensive advice and mentoring on various levels, (regulatory, legal, logistics, marketing etc.) and NATUREX will also make the company's facilities - for example the analytical or application labs- available to the chosen candidates.

Naturex is also planning to establish a Technology Advisory Group (TAG) which will include highly respected technology business actors and/or key academic opinion leaders. Privileged research areas shall include biotechnologies, new extraction and cultivation processes, identification of new botanicals or digital marketing technologies.

Doug Klaiber, CEO of NATUREX-DBS division, has been asked to set up this Open Innovation Initiative. Doug's background as an entrepreneur in innovative ingredients at Decas Botanical Synergies (DBS), a company acquired by NATUREX in 2012, make him the ideal candidate for this mission.

He told FoodIngredientsFirst: “We see Open Innovation as a very important initiative in support of our 5 year BRIGHT2020 plan. We recognize that we can use external resources to help us accelerate our plan. Naturex has several open innovation projects running right now and we plan to increase these activities in 2016 now that we have formalized the program. Naturex will be announcing more in the coming months.”

By Robin Wyers

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