Frutarom introduces pink rock rose extract for modern uses

By Jess Halliday

- Last updated on GMT

Frutarom is launching an extract of pink rock rose, a plant grown
in Mediterranean countries that has a history of use in traditional
herbal medicine to counter respiratory infections and support
gastrointestinal and skin health.

Part of Frutarom's philosophy surrounds the identification of plant extracts that have a history of past use but that are not commonplace today, and re-introducing them to the market. Other products in its portfolio include green oat for mental function, and olive leaf extract to lower blood pressure.

Frutarom spokesperson Susanne Fässler told that although pink rock rose (Cistus incanus L​) has started to become known on the German market, but even there still only a handful of products are available. Cistus tea is drunk in countries where the blossoming shrub grows, like Greece, Turkey, Spain and Italy, but elsewhere consumers and industry are largely unaware of its benefits.

Suitable for use in ingestible tablets and liquids, Pink Rock Rose Extract EFLA717 is intended to give formulators another tool to use in herbal cough and cold preparations - either instead of or in addition to other, more familiar extracts such as echinacea.

"Echinacea has a very strong presence in the market, and it is not our goal to be as famous. But we believe pink rock rose can gain quite a market share in some markets,"​ said Fässler.

Product manager Carla Wullschleger told to that echinacea is a immuno-stimulant, "making the body better prepared to fight infection"​.

Pink rock rose, on the other hand, is an antibacterial; according to Frutarom it is extremely rich in polyphenolic compounds such as flavonols, proanthocyanidins and flavan-3-ols.

"This is also reflected in the quadruple characterisation of the extract on polyphenols, myricetin, quercetin, and kaempferol,"​ said the company.

The hypothesis for its mechanism of action is that the polyphenols shield the surface of the cells, preventing bacteria, viruses or pollutants from entering.

Wullschleger said that pink rock rose and Echinacea could "absolutely"​ be used in the same formulation, with synergistic actions. "It would be a very interesting combination."

The extract can also be used to help alleviate heartburn, spasms and diarrhoea, as well as for acne and neurodermitis in either oral or topical products.

Initially Frutarom is sourcing the raw material from wild harvesting, but Wullschleger said: "If this product finds the interest that we believe it will, cultivation is a topic we have already discussed with raw material suppliers in that area, so we can supply it in an ecological way."

Wullschleger said Frutarom is conducting studies to support the extract's efficacy, but no results are available yet.

Two in vivo​ studies are known to be underway in Germany to study pink rock rose's anti-viral activity against influenza type A virus.

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