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EU approval opens new doors for resveratrol

By Shane Starling , 01-Mar-2012

Fluxome has won novel foods approval to use its fermented resveratrol form in food supplements in the European Union’s 27 member states.

The approval will allow the Danish start-up to pursue stalled business, as it has waited for the application for substantial equivalency to other forms of the antioxidant to be processed by Irish authorities.

To date the company operates only in the US, where it won GRAS (generally recognized as safe) approval in 2011 and has beverage and food supplement clients. Now it has access to 27 fresh markets.

“This is a major milestone for us but for the resveratrol category too,” president and CEO Jarne Elleholm told this publication today. “We are speaking with distributors who have been waiting for this.”

 

He said launch markets were likely to be the UK, France, Italy and Germany for premium supplement products.

The patented, yeast-based fermented process meant a fourth ‘type’ of commercial resveratrol was now available in Europe. Grape skin extraction, Japanese nutweed (usually sourced from China), and synthetic versions dominate the resveratrol supply landscape.

“Our IP is strong in this area so we don’t expect a challenge any time soon,” Elleholm said of its version that would sell at a “little premium” over synthetic versions.

“It has been a long haul but we have a strong metabolic platform in this.”

 

The approval would be forwarded to Japanese and South Korean authorities who were processing other applications.

Resveratrol is often touted as the bioactive compound in grapes and red wine, and has particularly been associated with the so-called 'French Paradox'. The phrase, coined in 1992 by Dr Serge Renaud from Bordeaux University, describes the low incidence of heart disease and obesity among the French, despite their relatively high-fat diet and levels of wine consumption.

Other studies with only resveratrol have reported anti-cancer effects, anti-inflammatory effects, cardiovascular benefits, anti-diabetes potential, energy endurance enhancement, and protection against Alzheimer’s

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