Glanbia offers OlivActiv for functional foods and drinks

By Jess Halliday in Geneva

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Olive oil, Nutrition

Glanbia Nutritionals chose Vitafoods as the launchpad for
OlivActiv, a high potency-low bitterness antioxidant ingredient
derived from Spanish olives that is marketed for immune system

The Irish company has collaborated with the Spanish developer Genosa to bring the ingredient to market, and has the exclusive global rights to the patent store and sales.

Business development manager Avril Twomey told that OlivActiv's competitive advantage lies in its high phenol-hydroxytyrosol content - 35 per cent, so that a 20mg dose contains 7mg of the antioxidant.

Research has indicated that hydroxytyrosol may help protect against oxidative stress and LDL oxidation, as well anti-inflammatory properties and potential to reduce platelet aggregation.

The company tested its new product against several other olive extracts (on the same day and under the same conditions) and found it to have a superior ORAC capacity of 15,119 (ORAC is the scale usually used to measure anti-oxidant potency).

Moreover OlivActiv has lower levels of oleuropein, the element that can cause bitterness in olive leaf extracts and may cause problems for formulators wanting to ensure their product tastes good.

Twomey said: "We are now embarking on a clinical programme to further support the potency in its own right."​ It is hoped that the results of the primary research will be available by the end of this year.

She added that OlivActiv "Furthers Glanbia's development in innovative new products."

More than that, the company has been working on ways that the ingredient can be used in a variety of food products, including functional beverages, yoghurts and bars.

Its approach is to look at consumer trends and demand, and develop applications to match. In particular it is showcasing a clear apple-flavoured water, and expects this to be a popular vehicle given the interest in functional beverages at the present time.

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