The European market for Vitamin K2 opened up last year when the EU authorities granted the ingredient Novel Foods approval. A positive European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) opinion on bone health claims provided a further boost, although a negative opinion was delivered on heart health.
European growth potential
So with Europe now opening up to Vitamin K2, Frutarom is looking to take a share of the spoils. The supplier said its new UniK2 ingredient is a highly bioavailable form of Vitamin K known as Vitamin K2 menaquinone-7 (MK-7).
The ingredient is produced using Bacillus natto, a bacteria naturally occurring in Natto. A well known rich source of Vitamin K2, Natto is traditionally made by fermentation of soy beans and has been used in Far Eastern cooking for centuries.
UniK2 is produced using Bacillus natto, a bacteria naturally occurring in Natto. The extract provides Vitamin K2 as (MK-7), the most bioavailable and bioactive form of Vitamin K.
It is produced by J-Oil Mills, making it 100 per cent Japanese in origin – a fact that can be labelled on finished products. Previously Frutarom had worked with a different producer to market and produce Vitamin K.
Moving forward, Maider Gutierrez, product manager at Frutarom, told NutraIngredients.com that the company will be looking to invest in its new Vitamin K2 product.
Gutierrez said this investment will involve studies to pursue a positive EFSA heart health claim and work on combining UniK2 with other ingredients. She added that Frutarom will be focusing its Vitamin K2 activities on the European market.
UniK2 is available in powder form or as an oil. It can be used in dietary supplements, which currently make up the bulk of the Vitamin K2 market, but can also be added to functional foods such as beverages, dairy products, nutrition bars and bakery products.
Frutarom claims the ingredient is attractive option for bone and heart health formulas, and for applications targeting women or ‘golden agers’.