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DSM secures global rights to health claims hero Fruitflow

DSM has finalised a deal that gives the company exclusive rights to market the world's only ingredient that is backed by a European Food Safety Authority Article 13.5 health claim.

The Netherlands-based company has secured the global licence for Fruitflow, a tomato extract that has been shown to improve blood circulation by reducing the aggregation of blood platelets.

The agreement has been signed with UK-based Provexis, the developer of Fruitflow. Provexis said the two companies would "collaborate to develop Fruitflow in all major global markets, through an effective commercialisation of current formats and pioneering new and significant applications." A dedicated 'alliance board' has been established, staffed by representatives of both companies, to steer the initiative.

In December 2009, Fruitflow was granted the first, and to date the only, Article 13.5 health claim approval under the EU's Nutrition & Health Claims Regulation. Products containing the ingredient can now legally be marketed with the claim: "Helps maintain normal platelet aggregation, which contributes to healthy blood flow."

Stephen Moon, CEO of Provexis said: "We believe the technical, marketing and selling expertise and resource of DSM in all major global markets will be a key factor in the success of our lead technology. The collaborative approach facilitated by the alliance structure will allow both Provexis and DSM to contribute their expertise in the most effective way in order to maximise the success of the Alliance."

Will Black, VP of new nutritional ingredients at DSM Nutritional Products, added: "Fruitflow is a great fit with our nutritional ingredients strategy of having recognized, strong science-backed evidence that supports health benefit claims that are relevant to consumers."

Under the terms of the agreement, DSM will be responsible for manufacturing, marketing and selling Fruitflow via its global sales force, while Provexis will be responsible for contributing scientific expertise. The companies are said to be in the process of developing a launch plan for marketing Fruitflow worldwide in formats suitable for both functional food and dietary supplement applications.

DSM has been close to the development of Fruitflow for some time. In August 2008, DSM Venturing, DSM's investment arm, took a 29.3% stake in Provexis, though its holding now stands at 17.8% following a share sell-off in April this year — a move that was said to be unrelated to DSM's interest in Fruitflow.

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