Functional foods industry company news

New hire at Fortitech
Fortitech has hired Richard Schleif as its new director of marketing. Reporting directly to president and CEO Walter Borisenok, Schleif will be responsible for Fortitech's overall marketing and strategic planning programs. Schleif has nearly 10 years' experience in marketing and strategic media planning. He served as director of advertising with a New York-based PR marketing firm where he developed and negotiated multi-million dollar advertising campaigns. Schleif also worked with OMD Worldwide.

Citroil opens flavour lab
Citroil Enterprises, a supplier of flavours, citrus oils and juices, has opened a new flavour laboratory at its New Jersey headquarters in Carlstadt, New Jersey. Citroil's Flavor Division specializes in flavours for beverages, confections, baked goods and dairy. It offers organic, GMO-free and NOP-compliant flavours, all of which are certified kosher.

Award for Frutarom
Frutarom's EFLA 943 Olive Leaf Special Extract was awarded third prize at the New Foods Innovation Competition (Industry Consulting and Publishing, Hamburg) for nutritional and physiological quality. In total, 126 submissions from 14 different countries participated in the competition. Every year, the competition awards prizes for innovative foods, product concepts and food-industry ingredients launched during the award year. The jury assesses sensory quality, price, packaging, presentation and market acceptance.

Verdure buys Geni ingredients
Verdure Sciences, a global, natural-product research corporation, has announced the acquisition of Geni Herbs' clinically researched, branded ingredients. The transaction includes leading brands such as Pomella patent-pending pomegranate extract, the first clinically researched commercial pomegranate extract and the only shown to absorb after human consumption; Tinofend botanical extract, clinically researched for optimal immune health; Bacognize botanical extract, shown to enhance cognitive function in healthy adults; Wokvel proprietary Boswellia serrata extract shown to significantly enhance joint function in humans; and Calzbone botanical extract researched in humans to promote optimal bone health.

NSF nod for National Enzyme
National Enzyme Co is among the first manufacturing facilities to receive Good Manufacturing Practices for Sport Registration, the new programme to minimize the risk that sports-nutrition products contain banned substances. NSF International's GMP for Sport Program provides manufacturers with a means to build brand credibility for their customers, while increasing market presence among finished-product companies. The registration verifies that NEC complies with cGMPs — guidelines that provide procedures to assure the product has the identity, strength, composition, quality and purity that it is represented to possess.

Lipid Nutrition awarded
Lipid Nutrition won two awards for its products in 2006. At Health Ingredients Europe, it won the Silver Award for the all-natural, vegetable-based PinnoThin, which promotes appetite suppression through inducing a feeling of satiety. In December, PinnoThin also won the Frost & Sullivan award for best Product Innovation. It was the company's second award from Frost & Sullivan, the first being the 2005 Excellence in Technology Award in the field of nutraceuticals, for its natural-origin lipid ingredients, and breakthrough products such as Betapol, Clarinol, Safflorin.

Econet hosts delegation
Econet, a global family of health and natural-product companies with operations in the US, Canada, South Korea, Russia, China and Mexico, hosted the governor of Washington and a trade mission delegation from the state at its global headquarters in Seoul, Korea. The governor and delegates toured the Econet Center, and the governor addressed employees and guests, remarking on the five-year construction project of Econet's new US headquarters in Lacey, Washington. The Econet family of companies includes Unigen Pharmaceuticals, Aloecorp, Univera and Namyang.

Cargill names sales director
Cargill has hired Olivier du Ch?telier as sales director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa for the company's Health & Food Technologies business. Du Ch?telier will promote the continued expansion of Cargill's CoroWise Naturally Sourced Cholesterol Reducer brand of plant sterols in the European market. Prior to joining Cargill, du Ch?telier was general manager of MeadWestvaco Emballage, a packaging supplier to the food and beverage industry. He also served as European market manager in the company's packaging systems Europe division.

It was a very good year
Whittier, California-based distributor of raw ingredients, DNP International, concluded 2006 with a fourth-quarter sales increase of 78 per cent. Overall for the year, DNP saw sales jump 67 per cent, according to David Ji, president. Ji said that accelerated growth was spearheaded by partnerships with new customers and vendors, and expansion to more than 1,000 in-stock product lines.

LTP buyout completed
Royal DSM NV has acquired Lipid Technologies Provider AB, a Swedish company. LTP develops lipid delivery systems for functional foods (including dietary supplements) and pharmaceuticals, using lipids extracted from natural resources such as oat oil. LTP's main product is a satiety ingredient branded Olibra. DSM Venturing invested in LTP in September 2003 and gained 27 per cent ownership over time. In mid-2005, DSM Food Specialties entered into a global marketing and sales agreement with LTP, which gave DSM the exclusive right to market Olibra (branded Fabuless by DSM) in the dairy-foods market. DSM acquired the remaining shares of LTP for EUR 18 million.

New products with Reducol
Forbes Medi-Tech has announced that Champion, based in France (a Groupe Carrefour banner) will be creating five new dairy products containing Forbes Medi-Tech's cholesterol-lowering ingredient, Reducol. The following products will be launched on the market through Champion stores: original and strawberry-flavoured yoghurt drinks, a mixed strawberry- and apricot-flavoured yoghurt, and an all-natural (fruit-base) yoghurt. The Carrefour superstores will sell the products under the brand name Agir Nutrition.

Yeast product attains GRAS
Cypress Systems, a biotechnology company based in California, has received independent GRAS designation for its SelenoExcell High Selenium Yeast, for use in several food categories. According to Paul A Willis, Cypress Systems president, the evaluation was based on scientific procedures and the safety-assessment criteria established by the Food and Drug Administration. SelenoExcell is supported by a Clinical Trial Agreement with the Cancer Prevention Division of the National Cancer Institute and is used as the sole intervention agent in a series of 'Gold Standard' cancer-prevention and health-related trials.

Litesse adopts new logo
Danisco Sweeteners' Litesse brand of polydextrose has adopted a new identity and logo for its 25th anniversary in the marketplace. The new logo and identity celebrate the evolution of Litesse from bulking agent to speciality carbohydrate, which has made it one of today's most versatile food ingredients, Danisco says.

National Starch's prices rise
Effective in December, National Starch Food Innovation raised prices in North America across its food-ingredients product portfolio. The increase ranges from seven per cent to 10 per cent on speciality products, depending on product complexity and processing required. Price increases for unmodified corn-starch products are considerably larger, reflecting the higher base cost of corn in these products. Recent and significant increases in the corn market, higher costs for synthetic raw materials, transportation, packaging, and utilities are the reasons for the increase, the company reports.

LycoRed line at PL Thomas
PL Thomas & Co is now offering LycoRed's new natural colourant line to food and beverage companies throughout the US, Canada and Mexico. The colour formulations in the new line are derived from tomato lycopene, lutein and beta-carotene carotenoids, which deliver antioxidant health benefits along with vibrant colour.

Curcuminoids vs Alzheimer's
Sabinsa Corp's patented Curcumin C3 Complex ingredient was recently used to elucidate curcuminoids' potential mechanism of action in Alzheimer's disease. The results of this in vitro study, published in the Oct 9, 2006, edition of The Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, found that curcuminoids from Curcumin C3 Complex could boost the body's ability to clear the build up of plaque in the brain that is linked to Alzheimer's disease. Previous research supports that plaque, specifically from amyloid-beta deposits, could be a contributing factor to the development of Alzheimer's disease.

Givaudan acquires Quest
Givaudan has signed an agreement with UK-based Imperial Chemical Industries, to acquire its fragrance and flavour business, Quest International. Givaudan expects to achieve annual synergies of $126 million with full benefits to be realized after year three. The acquisition will be financed by debt and the issuance of up to $824 million in equity.

Svetol wins the bronze
The decaffeinated green coffee to aid slimming, Svetol, garnered the Bronze Award at the recent Health Ingredients Europe gathering. Svetol is made by the Berkem group, the first natural-products-extract group to be granted the award. The efficacy of the extract as a weight-loss ingredient, the company says, has been clinically proven.

New board for CRN
The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) the dietary supplements industry's leading trade association, recently elected Marjorie Fine, executive vice president and general counsel, Shaklee Corporation, as chair. She succeeds Chuck Brice of Kemin Health, and will hold the office until 2008. Fine is a visible leader for the dietary supplements industry and has held a seat on the CRN board since 2000. This past term she served as the association's chair-elect. Additional new officers to the board include chair-elect, Mark LeDoux, Natural Alternatives International; treasurer, David Christensen, Bayer Corporation; and secretary Joe LaPlaca, DSM Nutritional Products.

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