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Nutraceuticals from Wacker, DKHS
Date Published：10/10/2018 10:10:54 AM
IN CONJUNCTION with the regional Food and Nutrition Seminar jointly hosted by market expansion experts DKSH and food ingredient and solution provider WACKER in Malaysia this year, both companies also took the opportunity to introduce new nutraceutical ingredients to representatives from the nutrition, food and nutraceutical industries, as well as public opinion leaders during this event.
Attended by over 50 industry representatives, the seminar was the first jointly-held event by both companies, giving much emphasis to nutritional and health issues that are coming more and more to the fore in Asia. These included ingredients for weight management, diabetes management, cholesterol management, and beauty-related applications.
Event attendees were also introduced to two new nutraceutical ingredients from WACKER: extra-bioavailable curcumin powder CAVACURMIN®, and nature-identical hydroxytyrosol HTEssence®.
Dr. Tieh Koun Koh, WACKER Food and Nutrition team head, West Asia
Dr. Tieh Koun Koh, WACKER Food and Nutrition team head, West Asia said: “Thanks to WACKER’s patented multistage synthesis method, a cost-effective process for manufacturing a highly purified form of the natural identical hydroxytyrosol – marketed under the name HTEssence® –is now available in the market. It revolutionizes the way this antioxidant is being produced and supplied to manufacturers of nutritional supplements and skincare cosmetics.”
In a press conference held after the event, Dr. Koh explained that WACKER places much emphasis on its biosolutions business.
“WACKER is a company with over 100 years of history,” said Dr. Koh. “We are very invested in ensuring that the biosolutions we develop are of high quality, whether these be for flavouring, ingredients or nutraceutical applications.”
For example, WACKER has developed a unique method of producing cysteine that is more efficient than the norm, via bacterial fermentation.
“Our cysteine product is widely used in the flavour industry, up to 80%,” he said. “This is because it is very clean, being halal, non-animal sourced, vegetarian and kosher.”
Also employing the use of a special bacteria, WACKER is the world’s only manufacturer of cyclodextrin, oligosaccharides that are vegetarian-grade, non-allergenic, and do not have an E number. WACKER manufactures all three forms of natural cyclodextrin (α, β and γ), marketing them Also employing the use of a special bacteria, WACKER is the world’s only manufacturer of cyclodextrin, oligosaccharides that are vegetarian-grade, non-allergenic, and do not have an E number. WACKER manufactures all three forms of natural cyclodextrin (α, β and γ), marketing them under the brand CAVAMAX®.
Hydroxytyrosol and antioxidation
Among the new products being introduced that day, Dr. Koh was especially enthusiastic about HTEssence®, the company’s new bioactive hydroxytyrosol.
“The product is in the process of getting registered in Malaysia,” he stated. “HTEssence® is the first ever nature-identical hydroxytyrosol, and we developed it to address biological risks, especially in terms of pureness.”
Hydroxytyrosol is a bioactive compound found in olives, commonly seen to be one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants.
WACKER also claims that the oxygen radical absorbance capacity of the antioxidant is nearly 30 times that of vitamin C.
“Before 1933, all the vitamin C we used to consume was natural, but as time went by and science and technology progressed, more and more of what we take has been artificially produced,” said Dr. Koh.
“This is why WACKER has decided to produce a product that is biosimilar to Vitamin C. We foresee it having various applications, being inserted into beverages as well as snacks.”
“HTEssence® has been found to reduce heart disease by more than 10% and LDL cholesterol reduction by 8%. Normally there are two ways to reduce cholesterol: directly reducing LDL or increasing HDL. Most products do the latter, but HTEssence® is the only product that does the former,” he explained.
Additional benefits include skin-whitening, scar-recovery, and anti-inflammation at the cellular level, via the mechanism of preventing the inflammation chain-reaction.
A crucial factor the research team factored in was also the cost. According to them, “Wholly natural products (olive-extracted hydroxytyrosol) is very expensive due to the extraction process, thus only available to those financially well-off. We want to make this available to the masses, so everyone can bring down LDL safely.”
Although the product has already been tested in human clinical trials in Germany, Dr. Koh is hopeful that similar trials will be conducted here in Asia too.
“Even though the mechanisms and applications are non-specific to any genetic makeup, making it still relevant to Asia, I still foresee something like this being done specifically for the Asian market in the future,” he added.
HTEssence® is currently still waiting for the authorities in Malaysia to grant it approval to be used as a food supplement, although it already has the required permissions as a cosmetic product. Approval is expected to go through by early 2019.
In Singapore, it has already obtained approval from the authorities as a food supplement.
Curcumin and antioxidation
As for CAVACURMIN®, the research team has placed a lot of focus on bioavailability.
“This was because curcumin is actually not easily absorbed by the human body,” explained Dr. Koh. “It is hydrophobic, and normally requires large amounts and high dosages of intake to be effective, but in normal everyday life, who would do that?”
As such, the product was designed to be 40 times more bioavailable in the intestine, to alleviate the consumption and convenience barriers.
Curcumin is known to be a powerful antioxidant, and is found in the turmeric herb. Previous research has shown it to be effective for anti-inflammation in the joints, thus showing great potential in applications involving alleviating pain resulting from arthritis,.
Health awareness in Southeast Asia
Dr. Koh also touched on health awareness topics in the region.
“In Malaysia, cosmetic applications are quite a strong trend. Skin-whitening in particular is led by the MLM concept, and these bring forth many innovative concepts and products,” he said.
“In Southeast Asia as a whole though, health awareness is increasing, most likely due to a certain degree of sensationalisation. Any form of consciousness and awareness can increase rapidly these days, due to the internet,” he added.
“Generally and less formally, this can be attributed to social media. If we are talking about proper channels, there is also a lot of sponsorship and initiatives from the various governments. For example, diabetes and obesity are both big issues in Southeast Asia. These involve big money too, especially places like here [Malaysia] and Singapore. That said, the governments are playing big roles in battling diabetes and obesity, declaring war on these,” he continued.
“Consciousness is at an all-time high, and it is important. Cardiovascular health, obesity, stroke – these are all diseases that place heavy burden on the economy and nursing homes, especially because consumers are likely to fall through the gaps if not properly taken care off and not properly covered financially for treatments,” said Dr. Koh.
This is all why he maintained the opinion that WACKER’s work and presence here in Southeast Asia is so important.
“It is necessary and important to make quality ingredients which are well-known, affordable, and available to everyone. Healthier food and nutritional products should also taste good in order for these to be more easily accepted by everyone ,” he concluded.
 Henrotin, Y. et. al. 2013. Curcumin: a new paradigm and therapeutic opportunity for the treatment of osteoarthritis: curcumin for osteoarthritis management. SpringerPlus. 2:56. DOI: 10.1186/2193-1801-2-56