Quatrefolic receives novel food approval

Quatrefolic receives novel food approval

Gnosis is pleased to announce that on March 19, 2014, the European Commission approved the use of Quatrefolic® in the European Union as a Novel Food Ingredient to be used in food supplements. This opens the way for the commercialization of Quatrefolic in the 28 EU-member state market to Quatrefolic.

The decision follows EFSA positive scientific opinion delivered in October 2013, which concluded that Quatrefolic is a safe and effective source of folate.

This key milestone is part of the global strategic plan that started in 2010 with the approval of Quatrefolic as New Dietary Ingredient (NDI) by FDA. In the USA Quatrefolic has become a benchmark for innovation, safety and quality in the folate supplementation. 

Quatrefolic is a source of the active form of folate (6S)-5-methyltetrahydrofolate, the essential form utilized in the methylation cycle and stored in the human body.

Quatrefolic and Methionine are the key components of a vital biochemical process called the methylation cycle, also often referred to as one-carbon metabolism, which is required for normal cell function. Maintaining the balance and levels of folate, vitamin B12 and S-Adenosyl methionine (SAM-e) can be critical to the methylation cycle and various cellular processes.

Quatrefolic is also immediately available for use by the cells without the need for any further metabolic transformation. As a comparison and to the contrary folic acid needs to be metabolized to 5-methyltetrahydrofolate to be utilized by the body.

Very little is known and there is an ongoing debate about the metabolism and biological effects of unmetabolized serum folic acid (UMFA) after long term supplementation. There is an increasing evidence that the presence of UMFA may be a contributing factor in safety concerns associated with high intake of folic acid. Folic acid intake does not entirely explain the variability in the presence or persistence of UMFA in the population, suggesting that genetic differences in its metabolism may also be involved. A reduced folate such as Quatrefolic may benefit certain genetic defects that influence folate metabolism.

Gnosis’ history and product line has long been associated with providing solutions for supporting THE one-carbo-metabolism. The founders of the company are responsible for the commercialization of SAM-e for which Gnosis is still the global leader in innovation and supply.

With Quatrefolic, Gnosis has confirmed its commitment to this essential biochemical pathway and to creating a structured platform of bioactive nutrients for advanced nutrition.   


Natural Foods Merchandiser

Kombucha comeback means major sales growth

Kombucha comeback means major sales growth

In early 2010, kombucha sales hiccupped after tests showed that some brands contained higher alcohol content than the legal limit of 0.5 percent. A lawsuit ensued, leading some manufacturers to reformulate. But despite setbacks, this fizzy, centuries-old elixir has bubbled forth in both natural and mainstream markets. Boasting purported health benefits such as improved digestion and immune function, kombucha, a probiotic-rich fermented tea, also appeals to consumers seeking a carbonated, low-cal alternative to soda.

Indeed, this beverage is booming. In January, the new trade association, Kombucha Brewers International, hosted its first ever KombuchaKon, a conference for commercial kombucha brewers. Plus, estimates suggest that the kombucha category is worth approximately $566 million—and is expected to grow 30 percent to 40 percent over the next several years, according to Kombucha Brewers International. 

Local is loved, but doesn't rule 

Though larger brands such as GT’s and Reed’s dominate the kombucha category, regional brewers are finding supportive ’booch-drinking communities across the country. Proprietary SCOBYs (short for symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast, the mushroom-like patty that ferments the tea), variations in climate and brewing styles, and unique flavor layering fosters local devotion in certain markets. “There really isn’t a standard kombucha brewing process,” explains Josh Garner, founder of Boulder-based Upstart Kombucha. “It’s a good thing that the kombucha selection is starting to have more variety. More and more people are developing the taste for it.” 

Six brands to stock 

Stock these stellar options—rife with creative ingredients to stand out from the competition—to buoy your beverage sales.

Barefoot Bucha Elderflower Sunrise

Upholding its motto of “big flavor, small footprint,” this ultra-sustainable Virginia-based brand brews with a decades-old culture, USDA Organic ingredients and uses reusable glass bottles—values that have earned the company steadfast, loyal consumers in Mid-Atlantic states. Elderflower Sunrise, a floral, well-balanced beverage, is a beloved favorite. I love how hints of hibiscus and rosehips make for unforgettable sweet-sour gulps. Also try Kombuchai, rich in nourishing, traditional chai spices. SRP: $4.00, 12 oz.



Live Soda Kombucha Dreamy Orange

Soda-ya wanna hear about some cool kombucha flavors? This USDA Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified brew offers crave-inducing tastes that mimic conventional soda brands such as Culture Cola, Revive Rootbeer, Living Limon and more recently, Sparkling Ginger and the delectable Dreamy Orange. Sweetened with stevia and a touch of fair trade evaporated cane juice, the ancient beverage is attractive to non-kombucha drinkers. Put simply, it’s kombucha for a soda-obsessed culture.
SRP: $2.49-$2.99, 12 oz.


House Kombucha Ginger Fire

This 2008-founded San Francisco Bay Area darling is a local’s favorite; even the Twitter offices carry House Kombucha on tap. Containing an impressive 10 calories per serving, Ginger Fire is an eclectic, cold-kickin’ blend of white tea, dried ginger root and spicy hot chili peppers. Milder palates will enjoy Lavender Lemonade, seasonally available for Spring and Summer. Bonus: House Kombucha recently launched portable 12-ounce cans. Did someone say picnic? SRP: $2.50-$3.00, 12 oz.


Upstart Kombucha Herbal Green

Formerly Zeel Kombucha, this fledgling Boulder, Colo.-based company recently rebranded to sport a memorable name and sophisticated new packaging. Founded by a craft brewer and his two buddies, Upstart attains pronounced flavor by steeping mostly organic ingredients while the tea ferments (instead of adding it in later). My fave, Herbal Green, blends organic green tea, peppermint, rosemary and sage into an herbaceous, refreshing sipper. Also try Lemon Ginger, a bold brew that features a classic beer spice known as Grains of Paradise. SRP: $3.29, 16 oz.


Kombucha Wonder Drink India

Packaged in 11-ounce glass bottles, this sleek line of tart, USDA Organic kombucha takes inspiration from Far Eastern cuisine. Japan melds verdant green spirulina and matcha with miso and citrusy yuzu, while Tibet blends goji berries, schisandra and blackberries with smoky pu-erh tea and black pepper. But I most adore the sweet, nuanced flavors of India—a lip-smacking concoction of cardamom, fresh ginger and holy basil. All for 13 calories a pop. SRP: $3.49, 11 oz.


Brew Dr. Kombucha Just Ginger

Organic Chinese black tea, yerba mate and ginger root are simple, classic kombucha ingredients that comprise Brew Dr.’s newest flavor, Just Ginger—all for 35 reasonable calories per serving. Other notable brews from this Oregon brand include the fruit forward Superberry and the cider-like Spiced Apple Kava, which contains mind-quieting kava root and warming cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. Plus, Brew Dr.’s stark packaging and tinted glass bottles evoke an authentic apothecary feel, hinting at the healthful tonic inside. SRP: $3.49, 14 oz.


Can vitamin A battle breast cancer?

Can vitamin A battle breast cancer?

A derivative of vitamin A, known as retinoic acid, found abundantly in sweet potato and carrots, helps turn pre-cancer cells back to normal healthy breast cells, according to research published this month in the International Journal of Oncology. The research could help explain why some clinical studies have been unable to see a benefit of vitamin A on cancer: the vitamin doesn’t appear to change the course of full-blown cancer, only pre-cancerous cells, and only works at a very narrow dose.

Because cells undergo many changes before they become fully aggressive and metastatic, Sandra V. Fernandez, Ph.D., Assistant Research Professor of Medical Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University, and colleagues, used a model of breast cancer progression composed of four types of cells each one representing a different stage of breast cancer: normal, pre-cancerous, cancerous and a fully aggressive model.

When the researchers exposed the four breast cell types to different concentrations of retinoic acid—one of the chemicals that the body converts vitamin A into—they noticed a strong change in the pre-cancerous cells. Not only did the pre-cancerous cells begin to look more like normal cells in terms of their shape, they also changed their genetic signature back to normal. Dr. Fernandez’s pre-cancerous cells had 443 genes that were either up or downregulated on their way to becoming cancerous. All of these genes returned to normal levels after treatment with retinoic acid. “It looks like retinoic acid exerts effects on cancer cells in part via the modulation of the epigenome,” says Fernandez.

“We were able to see this effect of retinoic acid because we were looking at four distinct stages of breast cancer,” says Dr. Fernandez. “It will be interesting to see if these results can be applied to patients.”

Interestingly, the cells that were considered fully cancerous did not respond at all to retinoic acid, suggesting that there may be a small window of opportunity for retinoic acid to be helpful in preventing cancer progression. In addition, the researchers showed that only one concentration of retinoic acid (about one micro Molar) produced the anti-cancer effects. Lower concentrations gave no change, and higher concentrations produced a smaller effect.

The next step will be to try to learn whether the amount of retinoic acid required can be maintained in an animal model, and if that concentration will have the same effects as Dr. Fernandez observed in cells. If those studies show the same effect, the next step would be to test whether these observations hold true in humans.


Was Fred Flintstone Paleo?

The Nutra-Musicals Volume VI: Paleo Wizard*

paleo wizard muscle todd runestead 01paleo wizard muscle todd runestead 02paleo wizard muscle todd runestead 03

[* From Functional Ingredients Editor Todd Runestad and some other people at newhope360.com who really don't want their names associated with stuff like this. The opinions expressed herein do not represent the views of New Hope, its parent company, Pete Townsend, Hanna-Barbera, people who liked "Tommy," most #paleo dieters, and anybody else who might take themselves too seriously.]


He's the badass boy from Bedrock

Sings Yabba Dabba Doo

Wilma is his sweetie

But Betty she's so cute

He orders brontoburgers

And throws away the buns

My man Fred Flintstone

Sure eats  Pal-e-o


He digs at the rock quarry

With a dino crane machine

He stays away from dairy

And likes his cave bear lean

Has a lizard-powered blender

Makes shakes with bone marrow


My man Fred Flintstone

Sure eats Pal-e-o



He’s a caveman legend

An old school omnivore

A caveman legend

His dog’s a dinosaur!


How do you think he does it?

I don't know

Where does he get his food?


Got a modern Stone Age family

The Rubbles live next-door

Eats pterodactyl hot wings

And mastodons galore

Tyrannosaur T-bone

A free range carnivore


My man Fred Flintstone

Sure eats Pal-e-o



I thought I was doing

the ancient cave man thing

Nuts and berries

and a bag of BRAD’s RAW CHIPS


When you’re caveman it don’t matter

when your cholesterol is high

life is short and brutal

By 30 most will die

His diet’s high in protein

His carb intake too low

My man Fred Flintstone

Sure eats Pal-e-o



Natural Foods Merchandiser

Retailer Roundtable: What are some creative ways you drive supplement sales?

Retailer Roundtable: What are some creative ways you drive supplement sales?

Megan Jones
Nourish manager at Ellwood Thompson’s Local Market in Richmond, Va.

Each month we change endcaps and displays to reflect seasonal trends: nautical backgrounds for fish oils, vintage apothecary themes for herbal extracts, live aloe plants with aloe juices. We encourage customer interaction by aligning demos with promotions and holding trivia contests or raffles to give away products. We also cross-merchandise a lot. For example, we might put chia seeds with smoothie books in the produce department.


Arthel Vincent
Owner of Bonanza Health Foods in Billings, Mont.

We’ve found it very helpful to hand out supplement samples. This generates customer interest in specific products. We also build our own displays. For instance, during cold and flu season all of those products are right up front and easy to access. Additionally, we have a customer-friendly Aisle7 computer kiosk and use an iPad for quick reference. We advertise supplements on a Saturday-morning radio show.




Denise Rodriguez
Founder of Salud Natural Market in Great Falls, Va.

We promote a specific supplement or theme each month in our newsletter and on social media. Then we create an endcap at the front of the store that features food items along with the featured supplement to show customers that they can get that nutrient through either. We put a smaller display near the checkout and have employees mention the supplement while ringing up shoppers. We also stock some skin, hair and nail supplements in personal care.




Michael Kanter and Elizabeth Stagl
co-founders of Cambridge Naturals Cambridge, Mass.

We use two display windows to promote supplements with monthly themes. For example, January is  wellness and March is spring cleanse. This is the first thing customers see as they approach the store. We also use smaller posters in plexi frames featuring monthly “staff picks” with a short commentary on why each staffer uses or recommends a supplement. We also use small shelf talkers called “staff likes” monthly under rotating supplement bottles.



Goya opens 4 US facilities

Goya opens 4 US facilities

Goya Foods, the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the United States, opens four new state-of-the-art manufacturing, production and distribution facilities in Texas, Georgia, California and New Jersey as part of a $250 million investment for a global expansion to support consumer demands of Goya's healthy product lines.

As the only Hispanic food company that offers consumers an entire line of low sodium, organic, diet and sugar free products, Goya's cutting edge, high tech facilities will maintain its mission to produce authentic, high quality and affordable products without sacrificing taste to national and global markets.

"With the growing Hispanic population and the need for good nutrition, it's an opportune time for Goya to expand," says Bob Unanue, president of Goya Foods. "For more than 78 years, Goya has not only positioned itself as a leader in the Latin American food industry and a trusted American brand, but as an iconic symbol of the Hispanic culture. Our commitment to excellence is the cornerstone of providing our consumers with products that offer 'good taste, good for you and good value,' all key elements that resonate with our popular tagline that our grandfather created, 'If It's Goya, It Has To Be Good'."

Each of Goya's new facilities will help reach new consumers and strengthen the Goya brand throughout the United States and internationally including Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, and Asia. The new 350,000-square-foot Houston facility that sits on a 130-acre farm, scheduled to open on March 27, 2014, will serve as the prime hub for the manufacturing and distribution of Goya's healthy bean lines and will produce 1,000 cans of beans per minute serving consumers west of Mississippi. The positioning of the Texas facility is a strategic location for Goya that provides key access to skilled workforce, affordability, a favorable business climate, railroad transportation, and acts as a launching pad for global export from Houston's port and the Panama Canal. The environmentally sustainable center is also equipped with an advanced water treatment plant that will recycle and purify water used for the soaking and transporting of beans and other products, crop irrigation and replenishment of local streams.  

The 250,000-square-foot facility in Los Angeles will serve all of the West coast and the 151,000-square-foot facility in Atlanta will serve all of Georgia and the surrounding areas. Goya's new Northeast headquarters in New Jersey, scheduled to open in fall of 2014 and totaling nearly 900,000 square feet, will be Goya's largest expansion in the company's history. The new site in Jersey City will feature office space and a warehouse totaling 638,000 square feet on 40 acres of undeveloped land and the fully renovated 240,000-square-foot facility in Secaucus will be armed with a new rice packaging line to produce 600 bags of Goya rice mixes per minute, six times faster than its current production.

Goya has always been at the forefront of offering nutritious and affordable ingredients and authentic recipes from around Latin America and Spain since 1936, while maintaining traditions and evolving with the needs of consumers. Goya's healthy product lines featuring a variety of low sodium and organic beans, organic rice, brown rice and quinoa, frozen vegetables and fruits, coconut water and diet beverages, as well as household staples like olive oil and low sodium condiments, succeed in uniting both wellbeing without sacrificing on authenticity of each product's flavor. Goya's bean line features more than 40 types of beans and are a super food packed with protein, fiber, all natural vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients and anti-inflammatories that help lower the risk of obesity, heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, and diabetes, all nutritional elements that Goya has instilled and promoted among consumers. 


UNPA welcomes facilities design firm CRB

UNPA welcomes facilities design firm CRB

The United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA), an international association of forward-looking companies dedicated to providing consumers with natural health products of superior quality, benefit and reliability, is pleased to welcome leading global design, construction and consulting firm CRB as its newest Science & Technology Services member.
Headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., CRB has developed an international reputation for providing engineering solutions for the natural products industry. Founded in 1984, the company has evolved from a three-person firm to a team of more than 600 professionals in 12 offices throughout the country. CRB specializes in providing deep knowledge of planning, designing and building manufacturing facilities for top private and public companies. It delivers in all areas of project execution, from strategic planning and initial project programming through conceptual and detailed design and into construction, commissioning and validation. CRB has an unparalleled understanding of how to equip clients with efficient, flexible and interactive work environments that lead to business success.
“CRB works hard to bring the best knowledge and experience to our clients and partners,” said Keith Kettler, a CRB associate. “As a partner in UNPA, we look forward to contributing to the immense knowledge base already in place and working with all organizations to set the direction for the industry.”
“Central to product quality and good manufacturing practice compliance is the early design and planning for manufacturing systems and facilities and all of the engineering required,” said Loren Israelsen, UNPA president. “CRB is a world leader in pharmaceutical and dietary supplement facility design and engineering and thus brings a new expertise and resource that will be widely valued by UNPA members and the industry as a whole.”
For more information about CRB, visit the company’s website, crbusa.com

Suntava purple corn now Non-GMO Project Verified

Suntava purple corn now Non-GMO Project Verified

Suntava Inc., developer of the game-changing purple corn, has announced that its versatile, highly nutritious product is now Non-GMO Project Verified. Products bearing this seal are shown to have met the standards for avoidance of foods produced from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). 

“Receiving the Non-GMO Project seal is an additional verification of the importance and value of our purple corn,” Suntava CEO Bill Petrich said. “We’re proud to be recognized and pleased to be at the forefront of advancing the cause of providing the consumer with foods that are naturally fortified, and safe.”

The Non-GMO Project is a nonprofit organization committed to preserving and building the non-GMO food supply. Chief among its goals is educating consumers—providing verified choices about whether or not to consume GMO’s. The Project, which has gained significant consumer recognition since it began in 2010, is governed by a board of directors that works with a collaborative network of professional advisors from varying backgrounds and sectors.

A world free of GMOs would create a distribution system that could be a boon for food and beverage manufacturers, leading to good-tasting, safe and nutritious products for the consumer. 

As food manufacturers, brand marketers and consumers extend their search for naturally fortified ingredients with value-added benefits, they look to products like Suntava’s purple corn. Being an all-natural, gluten-free ingredient with an antioxidant level twice that of blueberries and now Non-GMO Project Verified, the Power of Purple rings clear.

As nationally syndicated physician Dr. Mehmet Oz put it, “Purple foods and vegetables are the foundation of my diet.”

Biofortis, IMODI partner on personalized medicine

Biofortis, IMODI partner on personalized medicine

Biofortis, a Mérieux NutriSciences company, is playing an important role in IMODI (Innovative Models Initiative), a private-public partnership project, which aims to put in place the first national subsidiary dedicated to personalized medicine in oncology, with a 41 million euro investment budget. IMODI is a response to industry needs for access to an organized and standardized system for developing experimental cancer models for effective new cancer treatments. 

For the first time, the key role gut health plays in cancer treatment, including microbiome analysis, stool biobanking and gut biomarkers will be incorporated into a therapeutic cancer study. 

“Biofortis has played a pioneering role in developing this uncommon competence over the past seven years. Within the IMODI project, Biofortis will provide expertise in the clinical monitoring of patients, characterising their intestinal microbiome, identifying predictive and prognostic biomarkers. Creating a centralized biobank with more than 40,000 biological samples, using powerful data analysis tools designed to identify tumor and immunological biomarkers coming from the microbiome in order to evaluate chemotherapy efficiency and safety are some of the expected outcomes,” stated Francoise Le Vacon, head of Biofortis Research.

“The IMODI project is a significant milestone in the Biofortis’ strategy and development plan. The project highlights the critical role Biofortis plays alongside important research players in cancer research. Biofortis, located in Nantes, France, is the central gut health platform for Mérieux NutriSciences,” said Jean Francois Billet, senior vice president of corporate development at Mérieux NutriSciences.  

The IMODI research project spans seven years, unites 18 partners and follows 800 patients. This project will contribute to the development of anti-cancer therapies, against eight cancer diseases, tailored to each sub-population of patients and consequently, will help to establish a perfect match between treatments and patients. Amongst the partners are pharmaceutical companies such as Sanofi, Servier, Ipsen, Pierre Fabre, Mérieux NutriSciences’ sister company Transgene, and seven French cancer research and treatment institutions. $41M is earmarked for the public-private project, including $13.4M from French public funding.


GWI secures choline supply

GWI secures choline supply

Cognitive Health is a hot topic and the demand for supplements with brain and memory supporting benefits is growing rapidly. Choline, a nutrient similar to B vitamins and essential in the human body, has shown to play an increasingly important role in supplementation for adults, as well as for infants. GWI has secured its continuous supply of high quality Choline DL-Bitartrate (uncoated form) food grade for the United States market through an exclusive partnership with Jinan Asia Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., the leading supplier of this ingredient.

According to U.S. customs, the 2013 annual U.S. Choline Bitartrate import has reached 800MT, which shows a double-digit growth over the last three years. Top manufacturer Jinan Asia shared 40 percent of the US market with 60 percent of its quantity being sold through GWI. “We are excited about this agreement and to be able to support all our customers in the growth of this category,” says Jim Schultz, CEO and Founder of GWI. “We want to be the reliable resource for Choline and demonstrate commitment through our exclusive partnerships. Exclusivity always secures the supply for our customers while keeping quality and manufacturer origin consistent. That guarantees the transparency and traceability of all our materials,” Schultz adds.

GWI carries a full line of brain health ingredients, showing supporting benefits for people of all ages. Besides Choline DL-Bitratrate, GWI also distributes other Jinan Asia products, such as Choline L-Bitartrate, Choline Bitartrate coated grade, Choline Dihydrogen Citrate, DMAE and Betaine HCL.