The French group specialises in the research and scientific validation of bioactive compounds to deliver functional ingredients targeting non-communicable diseases.
It comprises two businesses, Fytexia and Milan-based B Natural, with respective expertise in polyphenols and brown propolis extraction.
The group’s core focus will remain the same, but with the benefit of the “added support and investment as part of a larger group”, according to ABFI CEO, Fabienne Saadane-Oaks.
ABFI wants to maintain “successful growth” levels with investments in both botanical and propolis-based polyphenols, he says: “This is fully aligned with ABFI strategic intent to develop its product offering to the Dietary Supplements Industry with science backed ingredients solutions.
“Fytexia will continue to develop a pipeline of propolis based solutions backed by solid clinical studies.
“The complementarity of both ranges and organisations is a key dimension to the future of the Fytexia Group.”
Fytexia is currently engaged in an ambitious program to reinforce the proof of efficacy of polyphenol-based extracts in different (as well as existing) health categories.
With the additional resources at ABFI there are plans to expand into four more undisclosed “dynamic” markets.
Saadane-Oaks said: “The Fytexia team of experts is convinced that polyphenols are only at the beginning of their popularity and that the recognition of the health benefits by consumers and health authorities will grow steadily in the near future.”
The united research team will work on the organoleptic profile of polyphenols, to facilitate their use in functional foods and beverages, as well as increase consumer awareness and access to polyphenols.
Moving forward, additional cross-selling and “innovation opportunities leveraging ABFI’s products and expertise” are also envisaged.
Saadane-Oaks adds: “Fytexia, with the support of AFBI, is leading the way to technically and scientifically contribute to a wider consumption of polyphenols and make them recognised as compounds of reference across food and health applications.”
Fytexia has historically invested 15% of its annual turnover in scientific research to innovate and demonstrate the health benefits of its portfolio of active compounds.
The group acquired B Natural last year to accelerate growth and develop products with propolis using B Natural’s extraction and refinement process.
Propolis is a natural resinous compound produced by bees that contains polyphenols (flavonoids) and has multiple health benefits.
Fytexia was founded in 2003 but a majority stake was purchased by healthcare investment company, ArchiMed in 2016.
Under ArchiMed’s ownership, total annual sales have grown from single digits to close to 30% for the past four years, the company says. Profits have risen four-fold over the same period.
“Our partnership with Fytexia is an example of the whole being greater than sum of the parts,” says ArchiMed partner, Robin Filmer-Wilson.
“The company is now a recognised category leader in polyphenols, which are a strategic class of molecules for nutraceuticals, with proven metabolic and physiological properties and increasing scientific traction.”
The latest acquisition enables both companies to benefit from geographical synergies: Fytexia has an established sales force in Europe, the US, Canada and Asia, while ABFI has a global commercial network through Associated British Foods group companies.