Burgundy enters era of innovation with new product trio

By Jess Halliday

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cent, Chondroitin sulfate, Burgundy

France's Burgundy is redrawing its product catalogue to list only
innovative and differentiated products - a sea-change for the
six-year old company with its roots in the eponymous wine region.

In the area surrounding Dijon the main variety of wine grown is chardonnay. Because the grapes are not subjected to a fermentation process, the company found possible to produces an extremely high polyphenol extract, with an ORAC value of 20,000 instead of the usual 11,000. The company uses a process that Gontran Gaillot, sales director, described as "very particular". Although he would give no details on the process itself, he said it was originally developed for the polyphenols family but step-by-step it is being applied to new products. In the early years, the company built up a broad range of botanical products reflecting that of others in the marketplace. But when Gaillot, the architect of change, came on board in November 2006, he tore up the previous product list and is in the process of redrawing it to include only products with some characteristic above and beyond what others can offer. Gaillot's plan is to introduce a total of seven trademarked innovative ingredients, the first three of which had their first public airing at Vitafoods this week and target the high interest areas of vision, arthritis and urinary health. With EyesBerry, the company set out to match the specific profile of bilberry, but with a product that costs rather less than the €600+ per kilo that bilberry can command. It developed a bilberry-like blend of five berries, including bilberry and blackcurrant (G would not reveal the other three). While the company says it still has the anthocyanins for the same effect in reducing eye strain and helping to preserve vision, it is 20-25 per cent cheaper than bilberry. Since it contains more than 55 per cent bilberry, can actually be called a bilberry complex. Burgundy's Iridoforce ingredient is described as an "improvement" on harpagoside, a gluco-iridoide, to combat inflammation. Gluco-iridoids from Harpagophytum procumbens (Devil's Claw) has been studied in a clinical setting for their benefits in chronic and degenerative joint disease. The standard percentage of harpagosides is five per cent UV, 2 per cent HPLC. Burgundy had already offered a version that was two per cent UV and five per cent HPLC, but it has now gone a step further with a product that boasts 40 per cent UV and 20 per cent HPLC. Whereas standard extracts would require 40mg contained in 10 soft gels per day to have an action, the same amount of IridoForce can be put in just one. If it is combined with other joint health ingredients like glucosamine and chondroitin, just two capsules are needed. Burgundy has developed a scientific dossier for IridoForce's benefits, and conducted a study to observe its synergistic effects with glucosamine and chondroitin. Gaillot explained that glucosamine and chondroitin do not regenerate cartilage, but rather slow degeneration and, as a consequence, slow inflammation. However the company has observed 40 per cent regeneration with IridoForce, thereby treating the cause. The final results of a further study at a hospital to ascertain longer term regeneration are expected soon. The last of Burgundy's initiation trio of innovations is called UTIRose, and taps the traditional and folk use of hibiscus in some parts of the world to protect against urinary infections. Burgundy is putting various extracts of Hibiscus that present bacterial anti-adhesive properties with a series of studies. And in its literature, Burgundy draws attention to the flavonoids and pro-anthocyanidins in Hibiscus sabdariffa exert antimicrobial activity against bacteria like E coli, preventing them from adhering to the bladder wall. Beyond the branded innovations, Burgundy a number of other key products, such as Grapemax grapeseed extracts, Guaramax guarana extracts, Teamax green tea extracts, cranberry and cocoa polyphenols. But again, with these Gaillot said it maintains a degree of differentiation from other similar extracts on the market. The company also produces ready to drink beverages and one per cent concentrates (the latter being the preference, as concentrates are stable, can be produced without preservatives, and there is no cross-contamination). Its capacity is 225 thousand litres - one of the largest in Europe - and it boasts ISO 22 000 certification on food and hygiene safety management, certification that was obtained just last year and that Burgundy is the only company to have this to date. Burgundy also uses its extraction process to produce a variety of extracts for its compatriots, with 40 per cent of turnover coming from competitors.

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