NutriLeads seeks global commercialisation with €4.5m funding

By Nikki Hancocks

- Last updated on GMT

© imaginima | getty images
© imaginima | getty images

Related tags NutriLeads financing Prebiotic Gut health

Dutch plant-based ingredients firm NutriLeads has achieved €4.5million Series C funding to accelerate the commercialisation of its flagship 'precision prebiotic' ingredient BeniCaros.

The financing was led by existing investor dsm-firmenich Venturing with backing from other current investors to support the expansion of the gut health ingredient into new consumer markets and geographies.

Speaking to NutraIngredients about this milestone, Robin Hesdahl, the company's commercial director, explained that BeniCaros, a precision prebiotic from upcycled carrot pomace, currently has a foothold in North America, but the team is keen to build awareness across Europe and Asia.

"This is an important milestone for us as it will allow us to expand market penetration as well as increase the science into the health benefits of the ingredient," he said, noting that its scientifically substantiated benefits for gut health and immune health​ align perfectly with key consumer trends in these regions.

"We still see immune health is a top health priority for consumers, with gut health shortly following, but we also know the ingredient will have additional health benefits so we need to validate these with further scientific research," he added.

Leilah Thiart, NutriLeads marketing manager, explained that the company refers to the ingredient as a 'precision prebiotic' because it has been developed to feed specific bacteria in the gut.

She added that a key selling point is the ingredient's low daily dose requirement of 300mg a day which means it is kind to the gut, with ex-vivo studies showing it creates less gas in the gut than other prebiotic fibres such as GOS, FOS and inulin.

The team suggested that this makes it a potential option for people with gut sensitivities who are prone to adverse symptoms from prebiotic supplements.

New board

The company, based in Wageningen, Netherlands, has also announced a new single-tier board structure. The Board of Directors​ consists of Dr. Joana Carneiro (CEO), Alexander Belderok (Chair), Florentine Fockema Andreae and two new members: Akshat Kshetrapal, an investment director at dsm-firmenich Venturing and Bibilotte Duyvesteyn, a specialty nutrition value chain consultant. 

“The financing and Board changes support the transition of NutriLeads into a fully commercial company with an emerging global brand of tremendous potential in the health ingredients market,” Dr Carneiro said.

NutriLeads also announced that its founder Dr Ruud Albers will transition from his current role as chief scientific officer to become chair of NutriLeads’ newly established scientific advisory committee, which will provide guidance for NutriLeads’ research and development initiatives. 

“I’m extremely proud and thankful of what we have accomplished together; from the original discovery of an active compound to the production and commercialization of BeniCaros,” Dr Albers said. “I’m looking forward to continuing to advise NutriLeads on relevant technological and scientific matters while also pursuing new personal adventures. I wish Joana and the team success in driving NutriLeads to the commercial success it deserves.” 

Board chairman Alexander Belderok added: “Ruud’s transition to this new advisory role will ensure that his wealth of expertise in immunology, gut health and BeniCaros remains a vital resource for NutriLeads.” 

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