BioSerae boosts market advantage with organic cert for cactus fibre

By Dominique Patton

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Organic food, Organic certification, Opuntia

French firm BioSerae has gained organic certification for its
cactus fibre NeOpuntia, giving it a further boost in the market for
slimming products.

The company, which first launched the fibre in 1999 and now exports to markets across the world, has frequently stated that it is aiming to steal market share from chitosan producers and the organic certification from Ecocert could give it a further advantage.

NeOpuntia, thought to work in a similar way to chitosan by binding fat in the gut, is already positioned as a natural alternative to the shellfish-derived fibre as it is derived from dehydrated leaves of the Opuntia ficus-indica​ cactus using a chemical- and solvent-free process.

Chitosan is typically extracted using solvents.

But an organic label adds an extra quality mark, believes BioSerae.

"It is also the only one to ensure controlled origin, strict traceability and a gentle chemical-free and environmentally-friendly process,"​ it said in a release.

The company, which won a silver award for the ingredient at HiE last year, seems to be already making some headway in its goal to compete with chitosan.

"Recently an Italian customer decided to replace the chitosan in its products with Neopuntia,"​ said marketing assistant Karen Jaunatre.

Comparative studies on a chitosan brand and Neopuntia suggest that the cactus fibre is more effective in eliminating fat from the body, although none of these have been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

The firm has is now working on carrying out a clinical trial next year, after completing a small, pilot study.

The certification will also be useful in food products with demand for organic produce on the rise across European markets. Many consumers additionally confuse organic with health value, reinforcing the healthy image of the fibre.

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