Resveratrol is an antioxidant naturally found in grapes and red wine, mulberries, peanuts and 'knotweed' (polygonum cuspidatum). It has been shown to have positive anti-aging benefits, and has also demonstrated benefits in diabetes, heart health, obesity and some cancers.
These documented health benefits have generated significant interest in the ingredient from the supplements industry in particular.
The compound comes in two forms, cis- and trans-resveratrol, but only the trans- form is associated with the health benefits reported in numerous in vitro and in vivo studies.
“Some of the leading manufacturers in Europe include Burgundy, DSM, Naturex and Bioserae,” said Sangeetha Srinivasan, program manager of food & beverage ingredients practice at Frost & Sullivan. “Other non-EU manufacturers include Actichem, and Lalilab Inc.”
The field is split into two: pure resveratrol suppliers and resveratrol-containing extracts.
In the former category, DSM dominates with its resVida ingredient, a synthetic resveratrol, said to be 'nature identical'. It comes in two forms: a crystalline form, with 99 percent purity; and a tablet grade form, with a purity of 90 percent.
Danish biotech firm Fluxome also offers a high purity resveratrol obtained from a fermentation process using genetically-altered bakers’ yeast.
Sami Sassi, product manager at Fluxome, confirms that the ingredient is only available in the US, and that novel foods approval would be needed before it is available in Europe.
Neither product is derived from grapes. “Not one ingredient supplier can give you pure trans-resveratrol from grapes,” said Sassi.
But purified resveratrol is not desirable, argue some grape extract suppliers. Indeed, while many standardize the extracts for resveratrol content, the presence of other compounds is also important. A future article from NutraIngredients will examine the science behind resveratrol.
In France, the home of the grape, Burgundy offers grape extracts (Vitis vinifera) under its GrapeMax range with a minimum of 20 percent resveratrol. The extracts also contain oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs), catechins, and other polyphenols. Gontran Gaillot, sales manager for Burgundy, pointed out that extracts are obtained from three cépages in the Burgundy region of France, and also from the Champagne region.
BioSerae offers a range of grape-derived ingredients under the name Resveravine, which is standardized at 20 percent of oligo-stilbenes, including trans-resveratrol, says the company.
Botanicals giant Naturex boasts a range of resveratrol-containing ingredients extracted from the root of knotweed. The Avignon-based company offers its Resverapure ingredient standardized to contain 8 or 50 percent resveratrol.
Stateside, California-based Ethical Naturals combines extracts from a red wine matrix (Vitis vinefera) and knotweed. According to the company, the resveratrol content of its ResVinol ingredient is controlled to guarantee a minimum of 25 percent of trans-resveratrol, with every gram providing the equivalent resveratrol as contained in approximately 350 glasses of red wine.
A spokesperson from Ethical Naturals said that, while the company does offer a 98 percent purity resveratrol, as well as a four percent purity ingredient, the highest demand is for the ResVinol ingredient with the full spectrum red wine extracts.
Others offering resveratrol of varying percentages extracted from knotweed include Sabinsa, Blue California, InterHealth, Maypro, and Cyvex. This is just a small list of resveratrol suppliers and by no means exhaustive.
More on resveratrol
In the coming days, NutraIngredients will publish articles examining the science behind resveratrol, as well as the regulatory framework.