DSM holds an exclusive licence to manufacture and supply Fruitflow from developer Provexis, as well as sole global marketing rights, and is promoting the fact that Fruitflow is currently the only nutrient to win a positive proprietary science article 13.5 claim from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
The EU-approved claim for Fruitflow – which was officially launched in its first DSM incarnation as a syrup at HIE Madrid 2010 – allows associated product packaging to state, “helps maintain normal platelet aggregation, which contributes to healthy blood flow” at an agreed optimum dose of 3g.
Smooths ‘spiky’ platelets
Speaking to NutraIngredients.com at the Madrid launch, a DSM spokesman emphasised the global clout DSM’s involvement would give Fruitflow, the key benefit of which is proven efficacy in smoothing out ‘spiky’ blood platelets to avoid aggregation, while not affecting blood clotting following injuries.
“Provexis is great at creating functional ingredients, and DSM is very good at global marketing, and this is the basis of the licensing agreement. Provexis had been in contact with major companies before, but big likes to buy from big, and DSM has large-scale production possibilities.”
He explained that the new syrup ingredient, Fruitflow 1, contained tomato-based concentrates containing the ‘actives’ based in the jelly around tomato seeds. He said that DSM plans to develop a sugar-free powder derivative for launch in the second or third quarter of 2011, containing the same level of actives as the syrup in a 150mg dose.
Same effect from raw tomatoes?
To some it might seem possible to avoid the expense of buying a Fruitflow-based product by simply eating raw tomatoes. But Provexis claims that the active ingredients in Fruitflow are absorbed into the body far more rapidly, while standard tomato juice could not deliver the same effects due to aggressive processing methods.
The DSM spokesman added that the ingredient can be used in a wide spectrum of foods, and cuts out the need for people to like tomatoes.“You can get similar benefits by eating three or four tomatoes, although it depends on which kind. But we checked levels of tomato consumption in Europe and they’re fairly low.
“It’s also about convenience – since most people don’t eat tomatoes during breakfast – the ingredient starts to work within 1.5 hrs, and works for up to 18 hours, and in a drink form it’s very suitable for consumption before, say, a long-haul flight.”
Although the spokesman admitted that Fruitflow has a “slight tomato taste”, he said this is easy to cover up in main application areas such as water- and juice-based drinks through to yogurts and other dairy products.
Flight from aspirin?
The mention of long-haul flights also taps into DSM’s market positioning for Fruitflow, where he said the firm had talked to “quite a few companies” interested in reducing the associated risk of DVT, with Fruitflow “spoken of as a natural alternative to low-dose aspirin without negative side-effects, to keep blood thin and prevent clotting”.
Accordingly, the target demographic is: “People of around 35-70 with an active lifestyle who care about heart health, managers and investors in high-pressure roles. It’s definitely not aimed at 20-30 year olds.”
The spokesman said DSM was outsourcing production of Fruitflow in Northern Italy, since its key aim with the launch was speed to market rather than cost. “Cost is vital and we are looking into lowering it further, possibly by taking production in-house, although we have a very reasonable cost price now.”
The swift launch was paying dividends at HIE, the spokesman claimed: “We’re seeing a lot of interest because we have strong value proposition in heart health as a growing segment, and we offer companies a chance to start a new category in this sector.
"Firms that missed the boat on the cholesterol story have a good way to differentiate themselves from firms that offer sterols, since we offer a proven second mechanism of action: it’s not just about cholesterol, but also healthy blood flow.”
And given the platelet aggregation benefits, did the spokesman believe that European healthcare systems could potentially buy Fruitflow-based products? “Fruitflow works, and for that reason I can see health insurance firms or governments doing some kind of deal with one of our customers offering the product in some sort of healthcare programme.”