Pharmactive launches 'high potency' kiwi extract to boost protein digestion

By Nikki Hancocks

- Last updated on GMT

Getty | Way Up Productions
Getty | Way Up Productions

Related tags Kiwifruit Protein Digestion Sports nutrition vegan Healthy ageing

Pharmactive Biotech Products' new scientifically backed KWD+ kiwi extract (Actinidia deliciosa) targets vegan sports nutrition consumers as well as ageing populations at risk of muscle loss.

The kiwi fruit as an exceptional source of nutrients, especially vitamin C, as well as antioxidants and has a positive impact on digestion​ thanks to the natural presence of actinidin, an enzyme that helps break down proteins and enhances their absorption.

Sourced from traditionally cultured kiwi fruits in New Zealand and manufactured within its GMP-approved facility in Spain, KWD+ is standardised to at least 0.15% actinidin​, and 0.1% Aktinnamics. These kiwi antioxidants are chiefly phenolic compounds that have shown anti-inflammatory properties​ in vitro and in vivo.

Jean-Marie Raymond, CEO for Pharmactive, says the company has developed this new ingredient using proprietary technology which concentrates the proteolytic enzymes five-fold more than fresh kiwi fruit.

NutraIngredients Europe will host its newly branded Active Nutrition Summit​ in Amsterdam from October 9-11.

An evolution of the brand's prominent annual Sports & Active Nutrition Summit, this year’s event will provide delegates with insights into the increasingly holistic and mass market view of sports nutrition, from some of the leading names in the industry.

Content pillars will cover all the hottest topics in the industry today, including: cognitive health, women’s health, life-stages nutrition, and personalisation. 

He says that both animal models and bench studies have supported actinidin’s ability to improve digestion of proteins​ in the stomach and small intestine, converting them into more digestible protein fractions called peptides.

“KWD+ can be beneficial for several classes of populations,” ​asserts Raymond, “In the sports nutrition arena, KWD+ could be instrumental in promoting a better harnessing of proteins among sport professionals and highly active adults. This could help reduce the excessive protein intake, especially among those involved in high-powered physical disciplines, such as powerlifting and bodybuilding. Excess intake of dietary protein has been associated with a number of health risks. KWD+ serves as a perfect complement to high-protein diets and can be added to post workout protein bars and shakes.”

The firm is also targeting ageing populations as a means of helping support the maintenance of muscle mass.

“People in their forties and older, especially women, can lose up to 1-2% muscular mass each year due to the gradual decline in protein absorption that unfortunately comes with ageing,”​ adds Raymond.

What's more, KWD+ may also appeal to vegans who commonly find it difficult to achieve recommended protein intakes largely due to the lower bioavailability of many plant proteins. 

Alberto Espinel, Director of IP & Open Innovation for Pharmactive, adds: “The standardization of the actives in KWD+ allows us to establish a precise dosage to improve the digestion of some proteins difficult to digest, for example, gluten, soy protein, or beef muscle.

“Vegetarians and vegans can use the benefits of KWD+ to increase the biologic value of vegetable proteins and get more out of less.”

Kiwi fruit also is believed to help gut function​, gently improving motility while preventing discomforts during digestion, such as bloating or even pain. This is due to the inhibitory action of Aktinnamics on pro-inflammatory mediators, such as TNF-α.

KWD+ is recommended at a dose of 300mg a day for daily maintenance and 600mg before a heavy meal. The ingredient merges into the full range of galenic formulations including soft gels, syrups, and powders and can be integrated into food and beverage applications. 


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