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Olive oil extract space gains another player

By Shane Starling , 05-Jan-2012
Last updated on 17-May-2012 at 23:01 GMT2012-05-17T23:01:54Z

Olive oil extract space gains another player

Spanish firm Probeltebio has joined a growing list of players in the olive oil extract space that has been hot ever since olive extract polyphenols won a rare botanical antioxidant health claim from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Probeltebio is producing high-dose concentrations of the most active polyphenol, hydroxytyrosol, via a patented process. It is targeting both food supplements and foods with its blend called mediteanox.

“Thanks to our patented technological breakthrough, we have been able to obtain mediteanox, an extract with the highest concentration of hydroxytyrosol without residual organic solvents,” said director Sergio Streitenberger.

“This allows us to offer all the excellent health benefits associated with the consumption of olives, pure olive oil and its antioxidant polyphenols to the public for the first time.”

The olive extract market is populated by the likes of Italian supplier Indena, US supplier Creagri, Italian start-up Phenofarm and fellow Spanish supplier Genosa. Japanese supplier Kaneka has also entered the sector via a partnership with Italian olive oil maker, Costa d'Oro.

The article 13 heart health claim opinion from EFSA that found a daily minimum intake of 5mg of hydroxytyrosol and its derivatives and its derivatives oleuropein complex and tyrosol could protect LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol particles from oxidative damage features prominently in the companies’ marketing materials.

That EFSA positive opinion is set to enter the official European Union register of approved claims in the first half of this year.

Government support

Probeltebio has benefitted from participation in a Spanish government-backed agro-food programme that links ingredient suppliers with food companies, biotech firms, hospitals, research centres and the IT sector.

The project, called HENUFOOD, has a €23.6m budget, half of which has been provided by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, with the rest coming from industry and academic partners.

“The ultimate goal of the project is a technological breakthrough in the fields of the food industry from the perspective of health,” said Dr Javier Morán, coordinator of the scientific committee of HENUFOOD.

Probeltebio linked with the Hospital Universitario La Paz in Madrid, and the Catalan Institute for Cardiovascular Diseases (ICCC), to research biomarkers linked with metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular protection.

Streitenberger said: “Working in the consortium HENUFOOD means for us to be present in a groundbreaking project in the agro-food sector in Spain.”

The EFSA olive oil extract opinion can be found here.

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