Frutarom is marketing the nutrient-rich berry (Physalis peruviana) as Incaberrix with beverages a primary target as it continues to expand its nutritional portfolio as part of a stated strategy that has also seen it acquire several firms in the past two years.
Holger Riemensperger, general manager of Frutarom’s Health Business Unit told us at Vitafoods the “little yellow tomato” had been selected after analysis of its nutritional payload and sustainable sourcing credentials.
“Someone mentioned this berry some time ago and so we pursued it after we made our investigations,” said Riemensperger. “We are in some very advanced discussions with major beverage players and launch is likely this year.”
Riemensperger told us the company was very close to inking at least two further acquisitions.
While the berry is new to Frutarom it has appeared on-market as noted by analyst Mintel in a recent report.
“…the berry has expanded into more conventional food and beverages, with a marked increase in its use over the past five years,” analyst Laura Jones remarked in 2013. Snack and fruit mixes were the most popular categories with 60 launches between 2008 and 2013.
For water-soluble Incaberrix, no specific health condition is being promoted other than general wellbeing and there are no immediate plans to apply for a health claim in the European Union.
The nutrient composition includes vitamin B, vitamin C, protein, iron, zinc, phosphorus and other carotenoids and antioxidants.
Frutarom said the berry was a “lost” crop of the local people, the Incans.
Other Andean crops include maca and quinoa.
In a statement product manager Yannick Capelle said other food categories could come into play.
He added: “The introduction of this new superberry extract by Frutarom is part of the company’s ongoing strategy to comprehensively serve the functional product market through our group synergies and goals.”