Supply spotlight: PL Thomas

New Jersey ingredients supplier PL Thomas traces its roots back to World War II. After serving in the European theatre as a combat infantry platoon sergeant, company founder Marvin Flowerman returned to New York and made his first hydrocolloids purchases in 1946. By 1948, he had started his own business, which became PL Thomas & Co (PLT) in 1955.

Today, PLT internationally sources, markets and sells ingredients of plant origin to the food and nutraceuticals industries. The company has made particular efforts to develop international partnerships. Marvin's son Paul joined the company in 1976 with linguistic and developing-country experience, which he applied to PLT's evolution.

"We believe that much of PLT's progress may be traced to the trusting and very well-informed relationships we have formed with our international partners," explains Paul Flowerman. "We understand that such ties must be patiently developed and require active maintenance and updating through visits and open discussions. Those international partnerships are an important component of what we believe enables PLT to meet exceptional challenges and exacting client standards."

PLT has about 20 staff members, including eight who bring an international background to their work. More than 30 countries supply PLT with clinically supported branded ingredients, hydrocolloids, botanical extracts, natural colours and flavours, and encapsulation systems.

New rosemary line
The company has announced several initiatives in 2006, one being its new exclusive distribution partnership with Slovenia-based Vitiva, the maker of an extensive line of rosemary extracts.

"Vitiva's rosemary extracts are powerful natural antioxidants with a broad range of applications," says Rodger Jonas, national business development manager. "The Vitiva line has been developed to offer the maximum advantages of natural antioxidants while minimizing odour and taste issues, which have limited the use of rosemary extracts in some applications."

Benefits of the Vitiva line include its ability to stabilize colour in foods and beverages; non-GMO, kosher and GRAS status; a wide range of concentrations available; and high solubility in water, oil and alcohol. Deodorised grades are also available, and the extracts are sold in both liquid and powder forms.

The line includes four formulations:

  • VivOX are oil-soluble rosemary extracts standardized on carnosic acid with a wide range of concentrations including 4, 6,15, 20 and 40 per cent and higher. Typical applications are for cosmetics and nutraceuticals, as well as all types of oils and fats, fresh or processed meat, fish, mayonnaise, salad dressings, soup bases, and more.
  • INOLENS is an extension line of VivOX and is highly deodorised. It can be used in most applications, especially in food systems when the elimination of odour and bitterness is critical.
  • AquaROX are water-soluble rosemary extracts containing rosmarinic acid with concentrations of 5, 15 and 40 per cent and higher. They are used in cosmetics, nutraceuticals and beverages.
  • SyneROX is a blend of Vitiva antioxidants with other functional ingredients.
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The power of pomegranate
The company also launched Pomegranate P40p (P40p) pomegranate extract, which is a unique product standardised to the full spectrum of all essential compounds found in the premier juice. It is carrier free and soluble in water. P40p was developed in collaboration with Polifenoles Naturales SA ('Polinat'), based in Las Palmas, Spain.

P40p pomegranate extract is standardised to a minimum of 40 per cent punicosides. It also contains high levels of antioxidants and natural compounds that reduce the cell damage typically created by free radicals during the natural biological process of oxidation, the company says.

Sold in powder form, P40p is used in functional foods, beverages, tablets and capsules, and promises all of the benefits of the pomegranate without the calories.

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