Iprona showcases immune-supporting power of ElderCraft

By Nikki Hancocks

- Last updated on GMT

Getty | whiteway
Getty | whiteway

Related tags botanicals nutraceuticals

Iprona, a food ingredients supplier and international fruit processing company, is set to showcase its CraftIngredients range of botanical extracts from European black elderberry, tart cherries, blackcurrants and aronia.

The Italian supplier will join this year’s Vitafoods Europe in Geneva, to spotlight the science-backed benefits of its premium European Black Elderberry Extract, ElderCraft for immunity-supporting supplements.

The firm will also spotlight two new studies demonstrating ElderCraft’s potential to inhibit the replication of SARS-Cov-2​ and its ability to modulate the gut microbiome​.

The power of botanicals

Consumers are showing a growing preference for natural remedies, with recent research​ revealing that 97% of Europeans have a positive perception of botanical and herbal supplements and 82% of consumers trust these products for maintaining their health and well-being.

The European black elderberry – aka ‘Sambucus nigra​’ – is well known for its immunity-supporting properties. Numerous human clinical trials​ have documented its ability to alleviate symptoms and reduce the duration of upper respiratory tract infections.

High in anthocyanins – water-soluble pigments that give fruits their red, violet, and purple colours and have strong antioxidant activity – the fruits also contain a variety of polyphenols and polysaccharides, which are believed to play a key role in the extract’s beneficial effects.

The scientific community continues to discuss the mechanism behind the black elderberry’s immune health benefits and has identified three potential modes of action which may work concurrently.

First, the flavonoids in black elderberry could block viral hemagglutination​, the mechanism by which influenza viruses attach to blood cells. 

Second, the anthocyanins present in European black elderberries may inhibit the activity of the enzyme neuraminidase​ in pandemic type A influenza. 

The third mode of action refers to the immunostimulant effects of the black elderberry’s polysaccharides​. As research progresses, a deeper understanding of these mechanisms may unlock the full potential of the European black elderberry and its extracts for promoting and supporting immune health.

European black elderberry and immune health: exploring the latest findings

At Vitafoods 2023, Iprona’s experts will share insights on ElderCraft’s immune-supporting credentials through the latest scientific publications that build on existing research.

In particular, they will share new findings​ highlighting potential antiviral activity of ElderCraft against SARS-Cov-2. The recent in vitro​ study revealed, for the first time, that the European black elderberry extract ElderCraft demonstrated strong antiviral activity against not only the Wuhan type of SARS-CoV-2 but also its variants (from Alpha to Omicron).

These findings, together with the wide safety margin indicated by a 2-log theoretical therapeutic window, suggest that the extract might have the potential to be a treatment option for SARS-CoV-2 infections. However, further studies are needed to confirm the effect in humans.  

The human immune system is closely connected to the gut microbiota, and imbalances or dysbiosis within the microbiota can lead to various health issues, such as weakened immunity, inflammation, and digestive disorders. Given the significant impact of the gut microbiota on human health, a clinical study​ was conducted to assess the effects of ElderCraft on the microbiome. 

The results revealed that the intervention with black elderberry extract led to significant, positive changes in gut microbial communities by increasing both alpha and beta diversity, thus confirming its prebiotic effect.

“Black elderberries have long been used in traditional medicine to treat viral infections such as coughs, cold and flu,” says Stephan Plattner, Scientific Director at Iprona. “We look forward to meeting visitors at Vitafoods and showcasing the remarkable properties of this plant. The new findings, together with its widespread availability in nature, further establish the potential of European black elderberry extract as a readily accessible solution for consumers seeking natural products to support their immune health.”



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