Kaneka Pharma Europe showed off the oil at Food Ingredients Europe in Paris last week, and business development manager, Peter Lambrechts, told NutraIngredients Costa d’Oro was a good fit because it could deliver bioavailability benefits along with a European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)-approved heart health claim for olive leaf extracts.
Studies revealed lipophilic coQ10 showed up in blood plasma at levels up to 2.5 times normal when 40mg were ingested with 30ml of olive oil per day.
Marketing would be left to Costa D’oro but it was likely the company would use a claim on the product to be called Olisana K-Young like: “Used regularly in a balanced diet and in a healthy way of life, Olisana K-Young helps in preventing ageing and protecting organisms from free radicals.”
It would also contain vitamin E, D and K2, sell at a premium over regular olive oils and sit alongside Costa d’Oro’s omega-3 oil, which had gained distribution in supermarket healthy product aisles as well as some health food specialist outlets.
“The coQ10 foods market is still growing and remains challenging but launches are coming like this one. We showcased chocolate and gum at FIE too and there are many yoghurts and drinks on the market already, especially in Japan,” Lambrechts said.
Lambrechts said olive oil had long been an attractive option for the Japanese company, even before olive leaf extracts won the EFSA health claim, and before coQ10 was handed a blow by being rejected for cholesterol, energy, antioxidant, cognitive and other claims.
Lambrechts said that rejection had not dented the market in Europe or elsewhere, especially given the strong medical fraternity support it receives, with the enzyme commonly being prescribed with coQ10-depleting statin drugs, a market that has driven global supplement sales over €700m.
“Studies show consumers don’t really understand health claims and there is so much evidence we just show that to the medical profession and they decide fro themselves,” he said.
But it hasn’t given up on winning a European health claim, with a “project team” working internally and with academics in the area to help better construct trials that may win claims, after learning from the EU nutrition and health claims regulation (NHCR) process that had to date denied the nutrient.
Lambrechts relayed that raw material costs had contributed to the withdrawal of a high-profile coQ10 beverage launched by the Swiss dairy giant Emmi, “some years ago”.
Ingredient costs at the time were as high as €2000/kg before an influx of mainly Chinese material saw prices drop drastically. Currently CoQ10 sells at around €800/kg.
CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant that plays a vital role in the production of chemical energy in mitochondria - the 'power plants' of the cell - by participating in the production of adenosince triphosphate (ATP), the body's so-called 'energy currency'.