Integrity Nutraceuticals International in Florida was founded in 1999 as a raw materials supplier, specializing in novel ingredients from China and India â but it was its launch of Cinnulin PF in 2003 that the company has become best known for.
Cinnulin PF is a water extract of cinnamon that contains insulin-potentiating fractions that may be helpful for type 2 diabetes, obesity, syndrome X and other ailments associated with insulin resistance. It is the only patented and USDA-tested natural cinnamon water extract on the North American market.
Studies conducted at universities worldwide illustrate the benefits of cinnamon, including the prevention of insulin resistance, and improved glucose and lipid profiles. It wasn?t until 2004, however, and a US Department of Agriculture study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, that the bioactives responsible for these positive effects were isolated. The study found that polyphenolic polymers in cinnamon water extract "may function as antioxidants, potentiate insulin action and be beneficial in the control of diabetes."
What makes Cinnulin PF unique among cinnamon extracts is its high concentration of these polymer compounds.
"We have isolated bioactive compounds, specifically trimers and tetramer, that are classified as Type-A Polymers," explains Tim Romero, INI vice president. "Cinnulin PF is the only extract on the market to be standardized for these compounds."
These distinctions have earned attention in the marketplace. US sales from 2004 to 2005 increased more than 400 per cent. Still, with much of its customer base centered in the US, there is plenty of room to grow."Distribution outside the US is minimal, therefore, we have yet to pursue any special ?certifications? there," Romero says. "The European market is similar to the US, as many sell plain extracts and whole cinnamon, unaware of a superior option."
Safety concerns have been an issue when evaluating cinnamon because some straight cinnamon extracts may contain harmful, fat-soluble compounds, the US Department of Agriculture has said. By contrast, an aqueous extract like Cinnulin PF removes the potentially harmful compounds while leaving the active Type-A polymers intact, the company says.
Integrity Nutraceuticals has formed an exclusive partnership with the USDA to further research this area.
Cinnulin PF can be used in capsules, tablets, powders, drinks, bars as well as other food products. The challenge is that the active components are sensitive to heat, appearing to oxidize, so the key, Romero says, is to minimize the time and temperature area under the curve.