France's Naturex is launching an extract from the fraxinus excelsior seed, known as the common ash tree, and has been linked to having a positive effect on weight loss.
The firm said today that the extract will be available on the US, European, and Asian market in response to consumer demand for a natural approach to weight management.
The extract will be marketed under the name FraxiPure and will be available in powder form as a food ingredient in Europe and as a supplement in the US.
Fraxinus excelsior is a tree in the Oleaceae family and is popularly known as "common ash" or "European ash" in the countries of temperate Asia and Europe.
This tree is also widely found throughout Tafilalet, the south-eastern region of Morocco.
As the only significant supplier and processor of Moroccan botanicals, Naturex has a unique position to source large quantities of fraxinus excelsior seeds.
Naturex has a plant in Morocco which it says is the largest extraction facility in northern Africa, allowing the company to produce large amounts of FraxiPure.
Fraxinus excelsior is said to contain coumarins, secoiridoids, and phenylethanoids. Naturex has a patent to cover the extraction and purification of the secoiridoids compounds. Research scientists at Naturex discovered these components by using sophisticated analytical methods, including nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and mass spectroscopy (MS).
President Jacques Dikansky said: "As a dominant player in the natural ingredient industry, we are always working on novel extracts to bring to the market."
"This new patent results from our commitment to innovation and the way we manage our R&D investments to boost our product portfolio."
FraxiPure has scientifically-documented properties supporting the ingredient's potential use in the weight-loss market.
Naturex is currently conducting in vitro and in vivo studies on the ingredient.
Scientific studies demonstrated that Fraxinus excelsior seed extract exhibited potent antihyperglycemic activities in rats without affecting basal plasma insulin concentrations.
Fraxinus excelsior seed extract has shown significant hypotensive and antihypertensive actions in normotensive and hypertensive rats, along with a significant diuretic effect.