West Chicago, IL (March 9, 2005) – For over 100 years, family-owned Ball Horticultural Company has supplied the world with the highest-quality flower seed varieties from its very own breeding. In recent years, understanding flower color and the compounds that are responsible for color (carotenoids, anthocyanins, flavonoids) became the focus of Ball’s research. This research effort has now led to the creation of Chrysantis, Inc., a new subsidiary of Ball Horticultural, dedicated to developing and marketing high quality plant-derived specialty ingredients for the dietary supplements and functional foods industry. Chrysantis’ first undertaking is bringing to market proprietary Marigold extracts with high content of natural zeaxanthin for use in maintaining eye health.
Beginning in 1998, Chrysantis set its sights in finding Marigolds capable of producing carotenoids other than lutein. With 40 years of successful experience in Marigold breeding, Ball developed a unique high-ratio zeaxanthin-to-lutein Marigold. A typical Marigold flower carotenoid profile is 80 percent lutein and 5 percent zeaxanthin. Chrysantis has obtained a wide range of proprietary zeaxanthin-lutein Marigolds with profiles that range from 75 percent zeaxanthin and 5 percent lutein to 50 percent zeaxanthin and 50 percent lutein.
And this is just the beginning: Chrysantis has a strong pipeline of new extracts from Marigolds capable of producing beta-carotene and lycopene, for example.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a progressive eye disease that affects as many as 15 million Americans by attacking the macula of the eye, where the sharpest central vision occurs. It robs a person suffering from AMD all but the outermost peripheral vision, leaving only dim images or black holes at the center of vision.
The demand for supplements to preserve vision reflects how concerned people are about eye health, as evidenced by the results of a study conducted at the Boston University School of Public Health. Researchers found supplements with lutein to be the most commonly used natural dietary supplement in all age groups (Archives of Internal Medicine (2005; 165: 281 – 286).
The latest research on eye health preservation shows that zeaxanthin may have a unique, distinctive role in protecting the macula and the lens, and that lutein might not be enough. As we learn more about AMD, zeaxanthin supplementation will become more prevalent among people 55 years and older as an important way to compensate for the relatively low levels of zeaxanthin in food.
Chrysantis, Inc. is a subsidiary of Ball Horticultural Company and located in West Chicago, IL. It is dedicated to developing high-quality, plant-based products created to enhance human health for dietary supplement manufacturers and the functional foods industry.
For more information, call 630-588-3474 or visit www.Chrysantis.com.
For more information:
Suzanne Shelton 847-676-4337