Drink to boost circulation to launch in UK

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition

A tomato-based drink, thought to be the first to food to claim that
it benefits the heart and circulation, is set to reach the UK
market this year, writes Dominique Patton.

The beverage has been developed by UK-based Provexis, currently in a reverse takeover by functional food start-up Nutrinnovator.

The two firms confirmed plans today for the merger and revealed that the first product launched by the group would be a fruit juice drink called Sirco, the first commercially available product using Provexis' proprietary tomato extract.

The standardized extract, which will be manufactured in Ireland, is said to inhibit platelet aggregation, a part of the blood-clotting process that can cause heart attack and stroke.

Four human clinical trials support this effect and will support a heart health claim on the new product's label.

"Whilst there are food products for the management ofcholesterol, the directors…are currently unaware ofany food product in the UK market that bears the on-label claim 'helps to maintain a healthy heart and benefits circulation',"​ said Nutrinnovator in a stock exchange release.

Heart health foods in the US, Japan, Australia and five major European markets are currently worth $3.6 billion, according to Leatherhead research, but this category is set to grow by 60 per cent over the next five years.

Nutrinnovator is also planning to introduce a dietary supplement based on the CardioFlow technology as well as a medicinal product for 'at risk' patients who are pro-thrombotic.

In addition, it is looking to license the technology under the new name FruitFlow to international brands.

The beverage will reach the shelves of two major UK retailers by the last quarter of this year, initially available in two flavours, blueberry and apple and orange.

Gerber Foods, the UK's largest manufacturer of juice and juice drinks, manufactured the pilot samples for Sirco and is innegotiations with Nutrinnovator to manufacture Sirco in the UK.

Nutrinnovator, to be called Provexis after the merger, said it has received undertakings from shareholders holding approximately 76 per cent of its current issued share capital that they will vote in favour of the acquisition at an extraordinary general meeting in June.

The firm says additional share capital to bring new products to market, a strong pipeline and merged business expertise will give it an edge in the functional foods market.

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