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Company news

Greg FryBob BeckwithNew hires at Corazonas
Corazonas Foods, creators of natural heart-healthy snack foods, has appointed Bob Beckwith vice president of sales and Greg Fry director of operations. Beckwith will lead Corazonas Foods' sales operations, expansion plans, and grow broker, distributor and retailer relationships. Fry will lead production, quality assurance and control, procurement, and R&D. Beckwith most recently served as vice president of sales and marketing at Centennial Specialty Foods. His 20 years of industry experience includes launching ConAgra Foods' Healthy Choice brand, and various roles at Nestlé Foods and Luigino's.

Hain Celestial buys Avalon
Hain Celestial Group has purchased Avalon Natural Products, a manufacturer of organic and natural personal-care products, including those under the Avalon Organics, Alba and Un-Petroleum names. The company sold for $120 million. The previous owner was Connecticut-based private equity firm North Castle Partners, which was recently in the news for its sale of Naked Juice Co to PepsiCo.

Pureflex found compliant
TSI Health Sciences' Pureflex Chondroitin Sulfate Sodium USP grade ingredients have been found to be in compliance with the requirements of the USP (United States Pharmacopeia) Ingredient Verification Program. The ingredients were approved based on a Good Manufacturing Practices audit of the company's wholly owned TSI-Jiangyin Pharmaceutical Co dedicated chondroitin sulfate manufacturing facility.

Omega-3s certification
In anticipation of the stringent new EC legislation on dioxinlike PCBs, Croda Health Care is strengthening its purity position for its Incromega omega-3 concentrates. The company says it now certifies dioxinlike PCB levels for each batch of Incromega, with maximum limits more than 60 per cent below EC legislative requirements. Incromega lipids, manufactured using PureMax technology, offer high-potency EPA and DHA concentrates with dioxinlike PCB levels of below 3pg WHO-TEQ/g against EC purity standards of 8pg WHO-TEQ/g. The company's rigorous analytical programme includes analysis and certification of every batch of Incromega for environmental pollutants such as dioxin-like PCBs, dioxins and furans, and PAHs.

BiotheraGRAS for beta-glutens
An independent panel of medical and toxicology experts reviewed Biothera's WGP 3-6 and BetaRight 3-6 scientific data, including safety, toxicology and manufacturing process data. The dietary supplements and functional-foods ingredients are the first yeast beta glucans to earn self-affirmed GRAS status. Biothera is a biotechnology company dedicated to improving immune health. The company's primary focus is developing pharmaceuticals that engage the immune system to fight cancer and that produce white blood cells following chemotherapy or radiation. In addition, Biothera manufactures and markets food-grade ingredients that support healthy immune function.

New licensing pact
Probi and Danone have signed a new licensing agreement. While the royalties in this new agreement are unchanged from its predecessor, the new agreement removes the limitation on Probi's scope for collaboration with other parties in the juice segments as well as most dairy-product segments. Remuneration of $1.3 million is payable to Probi at the termination of the previous licensing agreement. Danone of France has operations in 120 countries, and is one of the leading vendors of probiotic products.

Formulation scientists hired
Alejandra Gratson and Kevin Krall recently joined Fortitech laboratory as formulation scientists. Gratson earned a doctorate in nutritional sciences from the University of Illinois, and recently worked as a research/teaching assistant at the University of Illinois. Krall earned a bachelor's degree in food science from Pennsylvania State University, and minored in biochemistry and molecular biology. Krall recently held a laboratory technician position with Turkey Hill Dairy where he specialised in flavour/application analysis and sample plating.

New acquisition for naturex
Hammer Pharma, the fifty-year-old Milan-based company that specializes in the research, development and production of plant extracts for the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries, has been acquired by Naturex. The acquisition affords Naturex, with headquarters in France and offices in New Jersey, California and Morocco, a strategic location in the heart of one of Europe's key industrial zones, reinforcing the company's position on the German and Italian markets. Naturex employs some 400 people worldwide. Hammer Pharma employs some fifty staff members. The cost of this acquisition was reportedly $13 million.

Enzymotec boosts R&D budget
Ingredients manufacturer Enzymotec unveiled a $3.5 million R&D budget for 2007 — a significantly higher investment than in previous years, which is mostly earmarked for funding clinical trials. The trials will involve Enzymotec's pipeline of new products, as well as its existing lipid-based products such as CardiaBeat for heart health and SharpPS and SharpPS Gold for cognitive function.

Capital infusion at KGK
KGK Synergize has closed a private placement of common equity capital. The new funds will be deployed to accelerate the commercialisation process for its emerging nutraceutical product technologies. Terms of the private placement were not disclosed. KGK's core areas of expertise are in cardiovascular health, type 2 Diabetes, skincare and anti-ageing, as well as some forms of cancer. To date, the company has received three US and international patents, with more than 20 patent applications pending.

New campus in China
DSM recently announced plans to build a China campus in Shanghai over the next 18 months that will house all of its disparate China offices, as well as its research and development laboratories. Completion is expected in 2008. Initially some 400 people will be employed there, the company said, and further expansion is expected.The plan consolidates DSM's offices, which are now spread over several locations, in the Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park in the Pudong New Area of Shanghai.

Promotion at GCI Nutrients
GCI Nutrients USA, a worldwide ingredients supplier, has promoted Derek Cronin to purchasing manager for all US operations. Operating out of GCI Nutrients-USA Burlingame, Cronin has been trained within the GCI system and is knowledgeable about GCI's Macola System and new e-procurement centre. GCI Nutrients is a wholly owned subsidiary of Greater Continents Worldwide, a Nevada corporation.

Testing system for microbials
Testing agency NSF International has paired with Neogen, which recently acquired a microbial test system, Soleris, to provide testing for contamination in dietary supplements for clients. NSF and Neogen say they will offer comprehensive validation tests and services to ensure that products meet label content claims, and do not contain microbes, lead and heavy metals. NSF recently published a new edition of NSF/ANSI Standard 173 after completing a study that verified equivalency between Neogen's Soleris microbial test protocols and traditional USP plate-counting methods when testing dietary supplements for contamination.

Solbar, Danetto IN Poland
Solbar Industries and Danetto Food of Denmark have expanded their growing cooperation in Europe, this time in Poland. Through the alliance, Danetto will distribute Solbar's functional soy concentrates, and textured and isolated soy proteins in Poland.

Metagenics to sell Probi in US
Probi has signed a distribution agreement giving Metagenics the rights to sell a Probi dietary supplement in the US market. The product is based on Probi's Lp299v bacteria and will be introduced the first half of this year. Metagenics is a privately held company that develops and manufactures science-based nutraceuticals and medical foods. With the new agreement, sales of dietary supplements with probiotics from Probi are under way in Great Britain, France, South Africa, Germany, Scandinavia, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

New sales manager
BI Nutraceuticals has appointed Lauren Taylor-Cimino to the position of eastern regional sales manager. Taylor-Cimino is responsible for maintaining and growing the structure of BI's eastern territory. Prior to joining BI, she was the eastern regional sales manager with Pharmline. BI Nutraceuticals, headquartered in California, is a global full-service supplier of dietary-supplements and functional-foods ingredients.

Unigen hosts summit
Unigen Pharmaceuticals — part of the ECONET global group of health and natural-products companies with operations in the United States, South Korea, Russia, China and Mexico — recently hosted its ninth annual science summit at its US corporate headquarters in Washington. Unigen, an R&D company, focuses on discovery and research of novel, plant-derived ingredients for the supplements, pharmaceutical, cosmetics and functional-foods industries.

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