Triarco Industries has announced the launch of patented Activessence®, a plant-based enzyme system designed to improve nutrient availability in whole herb supplements. The enzyme system has been shown to increase the breakdown of cell walls in whole herbs, giving manufacturers who are concerned about solvent use or bioavailability a new option in formulation.
While whole herbs may offer advantages in production costs, consumer appeal and even health benefits, there is evidence that poor digestion and absorption can diminish such positive effects. The body does not produce the enzymes needed to break down the cellulose, pectin and lignin that make up plant cell walls, so nutrients can remain within the cell, and pass through the system without being absorbed. In foods this problem is often solved by the heat produced during cooking, which helps to break down plant cell walls, but with whole herb dietary supplements, the problem remains.
“Because plant cell walls can act as a barrier to nutrient absorption during digestion,” said Triarco Director of Research and Development Dr. Mark Anderson, “whole herb bioavailability and absorption can be a challenge. We’re excited about Activessence® because it gives manufacturers a way to address this, and still offer the benefits of whole herbs.” Manufacturers may have a number of reasons for choosing whole herbs.
“Research suggests that the benefits of some herbs derive from the synergistic effects of several constituents, rather than from a single marker compound. For other herbs, the exact bioactive chemical that produces benefits has simply not been identified yet,” observed Dr. Anderson. In still other instances, an herb may contain several marker compounds, each requiring a different solvent. There are at least three known types of immunomodulators in echinacea, for example. Because different‐polarity solvents are needed to extract each one, providing the herb in its entirety can reduce production costs for manufacturers and still allow the consumer to benefit from all three compounds.
One Triarco experiment found that when combined with various whole herbs in a laboratory simulation of digestion, Activessence® visibly altered the test solution, whereas the sample without the patented enzyme system remained green, indicating the plant cells walls were still intact. Also of note, during this procedure Activessence® only acted on the plant cells walls in the presence of intestinal fluid. This is important because most nutrient absorption takes place in the intestine, not the stomach.
Activessence® may be an especially attractive ingredient to consumers looking to avoid products made with solvents. It is available to manufacturers as a powder and can easily be added to whole herb blends, capsules and tablets. More than half of the top ten, best‐selling herbs this year, including St. John’s wort, saw palmetto, echinacea, milk thistle and ginseng appeal to consumers in whole‐herb form and can be formulated with Activessence®.
About Triarco Industries
Triarco is a leading supplier of premium and patented natural ingredients, including herbs, extracts, powders and granulations, minerals, plant‐derived enzymes and instantized cold‐water soluble herbal teas. Triarco was one of the first companies to implement a certified voucher system in combination with an in‐house TLC/HPLC quality control program. For over thirty years, Triarco has been influential in the industry evolution of quality control, quality assurance, product development and technology. The company holds ten patents and is known for such patented ingredients as Aminogen®, Aqua 10® Carbogen®, CranSmart®, and MyTosterone® Visit www.triarco.com to learn more.