Dosage tests are underway on an ingredient developed by UK-based bioscience firm Provexis derived from cruciferous vegetables that is said to be effective in tackling cardiovascular inflammation.
The company revealed it had identified that isothiocyanates contained in vegetables such as broccoli, mustard seeds and water cress had a positive effect on heart health, and that it had gone on to develop “novel intellectual property around four extracts, for which it has filed global patents”.
Preliminary clinical trials are now underway at the Institute of Food Research in Norwich, England, to establish effective dosage of the extract. It is intended that formulation will then be refined ahead of human trials planned as part of a cardiovascular inflammation study next year.
Provexis is renowned for being the first company to have achieved a positive opinion for an Article 13.5 health claim under the EU’s Nutrition & Health Claims Regulation. It achieved this for a tomato extract, called Fruitflow, which was proven to benefit blood circulation. This ingredient, now being marketed globally in partnership with DSM, won a NutrAward at the Nutracon conference in Anaheim, Calif. in March. DSM also holds a minority stake in Provexis.
Stephen Moon, chief executive officer of Provexis, said: "Having developed Fruitflow, we already have extensive regulatory and scientific expertise in heart health technologies, and look forward to discovering more about the new ingredient as we progress with the trials.
"Heart health awareness among consumers has increased significantly, with product launches nearly tripling over the past five years. The more specialized medical foods market, however, is currently underdeveloped. This new, natural ingredient could offer patients the chance to benefit from a preventative and non-invasive form of treatment and manufacturers the opportunity to profit from appealing margins."
He added: "The functional foods market is buoyant, and with companies such as Nestlé and Danone making considerable investments in product development, the clinical foods market is also projected to grow significantly going forward. Bearing this in mind, we believe this ingredient has the potential to create highly successful products."
Provexis said it intended that its new ingredient would eventually be available in liquid and powder forms suitable for use in functional beverage and dietary supplement formulations.