BI Nutraceuticals Signs Exclusive North American Distribution Deal With PIVEG for Lutein and Zeaxanthin

LONG BEACH, Calif., Oct 22, 2004 -- Zuellig Botanicals, Inc., dba BI Nutraceuticals (BI), has partnered with Pigmentos Vegetales del Centro (PIVEG), a family-owned raw materials manufacturer based in Mexico, to be the exclusive North American distributor for the company's ingredients, specifically its PIVEG Mariglo(TM) brand Lutein and Zeaxanthin. This partnership enhances BI's supplement ingredient offerings, and represents significant enhancement to sales and marketing efforts into the North American market for PIVEG, which currently distributes nutraceutical ingredients around the world.

"This agreement complements our strategy to partner with top-tier companies and expand our line of trusted dietary supplement ingredients," stated Peter Hafermann, president, BI Nutraceuticals. "PIVEG's Mariglo Lutein and Zeaxanthin ingredients are of the highest quality and we are pleased to make them available to our customers in North America."

Lutein is a powerful antioxidant that supports eye health, and has been researched extensively in relation to macular degeneration. Lutein continues to gain strong awareness among consumers, and market growth through 2005 is projected at 10 to 12 percent according to Health Strategy Consulting. Zeaxanthin is another antioxidant that defends cells against oxidative stress and free radicals, as well as protects the retina from the damaging effects of sunlight. Both PIVEG's Mariglo brand Lutein and Zeaxanthin are 100 percent natural and derived from purified marigold flower carotenoids. PIVEG Mariglo Lutein is available in 5 and 25 percent beadlets, 20 and 30 percent oil and 70 percent powder, and PIVEG Mariglo Zeaxanthin is available in 25 percent beadlets, 20 percent oil and 50 percent powder.

"We continue to provide the highest purity material available in the market and are pleased that this partnership with BI will allow us to expand the distribution of our ingredients to the North American market," stated Roberto Espinoza, CEO, PIVEG. "Lutein and Zeaxanthin represent two of the fastest growing supplement ingredients and we look forward to ongoing success in North America as a result of our partnership with BI."

BI Nutraceuticals, founded in 1977 and headquartered in Long Beach, California, is a full service supplier of dietary supplement ingredients. BI manufactured products undergo quality testing under the Identilok(R) species identification process. BI products include whole herb powders and teas, standardized and drug ratio extracts, custom blends, vitamins, minerals and other specialty supplements. For more information visit

PIVEG is a global supplier of carotenoids to the feed, food, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries with a 35-year history of manufacturing carotenoid pigments of the highest quality. PIVEG has highly specialized carotenoid production and development capabilities -- from seed to concentrate -- including the propagation and production of nutrition grade Lutein and Zeaxanthin. PIVEG has 15,000 acres of marigolds in cultivation, which are processed in one of five plants in Mexico, two in Peru and a state-of-the-art concentration facility in Celaya.

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