Carotech invests $40m in new tocotrienol plant

By Jess Halliday

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Tocotrienol Vitamins

Malaysian vitamin E supplier Carotech is investing US$40 million in
a new plant, in response to demand for its non-GMO tocotrienol
complex as consumers start to become aware of the different forms
of vitamin E.

With its existing through capacity of 90 metric tones of palm oil per day, the company already claims the top spot in worldwide supply of natural tocotrienol, which it markets under its Tocomin and Tocomin SupraBio trademarks.

In addition to this, the new facility is expected to be on stream and running by June 2007, and will increase through capacity 4-fold - to 350 metric tones per day. In particular, the new capacity will be boost production of Tocomin natural full spectrum palm tocotrienol complex and Caromin natural palm mixed carotene complex.

Although some supplement makers have reported that their results have been affected by negative publicity surrounding studies of vitamin E safety, WT Leong, VP of Carotech's North American subsidiary Carotech Inc, told that these studies were, in fact a blessing in disguise for his company.

"Ever since the publication of these studies customers and consumers have re-formulated their vitamin E (previously with just a single form, alpha-tocopherol) to include all the 8 forms of vitamin E (alpha, beta, gamma and delta-tocopherol + alpha, beta, gamma and delta-tocotrienol)."

He explained that all these eight forms of vitamin E work synergistically to confer the benefits of Vitamin E. Tocomin is said to be the only full spectrum tocotrienol complex that provides all the four forms of tocotrienol in significant level.

"Hence, the demand for Tocomin has increased."

Leong drew attention to studies published in 2005, such as the vitamin E meta-analysis in the Annals of Internal Medicine​ and the HOPE-TOO study in JAMA as well as the latest Women's Health Study (WHS) in JAMA, which he said helped the concept to gain momentum.

What is more, in a recent NIH-funded study Tocomin was shown to significantly protect the brain from stroke-induced injuries and neurodegeneration (Journal of Biological Chemistry​, 2000, Vol. 275, pp. 13049-13055). It has also been studied for its ability to lower cholesterol levels by inhibiting the production in the liver as well as its ability to reverse arterial blockage in Carotid Stenosis patients.

The new plant will be located at the Limut Port Industrial Park in Malaysia, and will cover 32 acres. Carotech's tocotrienol is produced by a patented process from 100 per cent non-GMO virgin crude palm oil, sourced in Malaysia.

"The combination of our patented technology with the high quality and safety standards enables us to offer natural full spectrum palm tocotrienol complex and palm mixed carotene complex that are tailored to the precise needs of consumers, helping our customers to enter new markets successfully and giving them a significant competitive advantage,"​ said Leong.

Almost 95 percent of the tocotrienol is destined for the supplement market, and the remaining five percent is shared between cosmetic and food applications.

Carotech has a strong customer base in both the US and the EU, and is also making headway in Japan.

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