Kaneka's latest high-potency version quickly snapped up by supplements brands
United States: California-based Soft Gel Technologies has released a soft-gelatine formulation employing leading coenzyme Q10 supplier Kaneka's new high-potency QH ingredient, which has quickly gained the attention of major supplements brands in North America, Japan and other parts of the world.
"We are very excited about this ingredient," Soft Gel's marketing director, Jeanette Fisher, told Functional Ingredients magazine. "Kaneka has a lot of science and patents supporting the ingredient and we have patents pending for our version — CoQH-CF. We've worked very closely with Kaneka on this and we know it works."
The ingredient — called Kaneka QH and known to have cardiovascular, brain, energy and other benefits — does not have approval for use in foods or beverages in Europe or the US, so it is only available in supplements presently, although applications for food-ingredient approval are pending on both sides of the Atlantic.
QH has been a decade in the making and, as Tom Schrier, Kaneka's Texas-based US national sales manager told FI, its potency lies in the fact that "it comes hot or pre-converted." In essence this means it is more readily available to the body and is therefore being targeted at older consumers who have the greatest need for co-Q10 because their body's supply depletes with age and is the least able to convert traditional forms of co-Q10. "Using our crystal-free technology to protect the QH from being exposed to air, CoQH-CF provides an efficient way to boost co-Q10 levels in those whose ability to produce and/or convert it has been hindered by ageing or disease," said Soft Gel.
Kaneka, which is employing four or five contract manufacturers to distribute the ingredient in North America and Japan, said the fact QH sold for about $1,500 per kilogram, as opposed to $400-$500 for its regular stable mate, had not been prohibitive. "We already have signed up 20 supplements brands, including most of the biggies," Schrier said. Ten more were expected to come on board in November. But he noted that when food and beverage approval was granted, condition-specific products such as hospital foods or diabetic foods were more likely because the ingredient's price might become prohibitive in more mainstream food applications.
A month's supply of the QH supplement retails for about $30-$40.