Until 2005, natural beta-carotene was sold at up to twice the price of synthetic beta-carotene, but Vitatene is changing this by using cost-saving technology that has given the proprietary ingredient a more competitive price. Global market analyst Frost & Sullivan selected Vitatene, a subsidiary of the Spanish-Italian antibiotics manufacturer Antibioticos Group, for the 2006 US Product Innovation of the Year Award in recognition of Betanat and its quick and safe conversion to vitamin A in the body.
For formulators, the affordability of this natural source of vitamin A could open greater use possibilities in affordable supplements that also fulfill increasing consumer demand for natural ingredients.
"With the increase in consumer demand for natural products, manufacturers have an obvious advantage if they promote products with natural ingredients rather than products made with synthetics," said Frost & Sullivan analyst Ashwin Sukumaran.
Beta-carotene is not only a source of vitamin A, but an antioxidant that is used in supplements and as a colorant in the food and beverage industry.
Vitatene has used pharmaceutical technology to adapt the ingredient to industry needs, say Frost & Sullivan, although the analyst was not able to get back to NutraIngredients-USA.com with further details in time for this article. The branded carotenoid has the high-speed production and reliable ingredient characteristics that are as important as nutritional value for the multi-billion dollar supplement industry.
"Vitatene…has displayed a remarkable focus on developing a manufacturing process that enables the characteristics of the product to be tailored to the needs of the market," said Sukumaran.
According to Frost & Sullivan, Vitatene's beta-carotene stands out because it has cultivated a high-potency strain of the fungus blakeslea trispora and used its technology to efficiently isolate, purify and process the beta-carotene. This efficiency has helped to drop the price of the ingredient when compared to other natural versions.
"Committed from the start to maintaining quality, Vitatene's efficiency enables them to sell at competitive prices while maintaining world class quality assurance and production standards," said Frost & Sullivan in its announcement.
While other manufacturers have produced beta-carotene from blakeslea trispora, say the analyst, Betanat beta-carotene crystals have less than 3 percent impurities compared with other carotenoids and are not synthesis products.
Unlike synthetic forms of beta-carotene, natural beta-carotene from blakeslea trispora has mainly the same all-trans versions of the antioxidant as they occur in fruits and vegetables. The all-trans form of beta-carotene has been found to have the highest conversion rate into vitamin A and dramatically reduce the chances for toxic overload that exist with pure synthetic Vitamin A, according to the market analyst.
Vitatene's Betanat product is made from beta-carotene crystals, plus tocopherol, starch and water and has a stability of three years. Committed from the start to maintaining quality, Vitatene's efficiency enables them to sell at competitive prices while maintaining world class quality assurance and production standards.
In the US, Betanat is distributed by California-based B&D Nutritional Ingredients.