The company’s Second Asia Pacific Regional Food and Nutrition Seminar was attended by about 50 public opinion leaders and industry representatives, jointly hosted by Wacker and its Malaysian distribution partner, DKSH.
Cyclodextrins and supplements
CAVACURMIN is a powdered form of curcumin complex containing gamma cyclodextrins, which are cholesterol-free oligosaccharides derived from renewable raw materials. They can protect volatile ingredients such as antioxidants, or enhance the taste and smell of certain foods.
They are also capable of stabilising oil-in-water emulsions and providing them with improved mouthfeel, while also being suitable for vegetarians and those with food allergies.
Already, cyclodextrins have been used for numerous applications in the food industry, including vegetarian food solutions.
For the supplement and nutraceutical industry, it has the potential to be used to increase the bioavailability of certain ingredients.
For instance, curcumin — the active compound in turmeric — is an antioxidant known for its anti-inflammatory properties. However, it is highly hydrophobic, making bloodstream absorption of curcumin in the human body extremely challenging.
Cyclodextrins, which are hydrophilic on the surface and contain an internal hydrophilic cavity, can accommodate hydrophobic substances like curcumin, making fat-soluble curcumin far easier to absorb.
According to Wacker, a clinical trial had found that CAVACURMIN (which contains 95% curcumin extract) was 40 times more efficiently absorbed than standard curcumin extract, and at least 4.5 times more efficiently than two commercially available products designed to increase bioavailability.
This makes CAVACURMIN easily processed in formats such as tablets, capsules, functional beverages and energy bars.
Adding to the antioxidant angle
Continuing on the antioxidant tangent, Wacker’s HTEssence features what it claims is “the first nature-identical hydroxytyrosol”, without any unnecessary by-products and with a specific amount of active ingredients.
Hydroxytyrosol is an antioxidant derived from olives, and is said to have beneficial effects on the immune system, cardiovascular health, cognitive function, joints, and blood pressure, as well as anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Extracting the ingredient from olives is a complicated, labour-intensive and costly process, involving multiple steps and resulting in a variance in the content of the active ingredient in the end product, which is often a mere 20%.
In addition, the extract-derived product comes in the form of a brownish powder with a mould-like odour, which may even contain impurities and unknown substances.
To further exacerbate the situation, the supply of hydroxytyrosol tends to be unreliable, due to the weather- and climate-dependent nature of olive harvests. Apart from product composition, this affects the price of the extract.
As a solution, Wacker began researching how to fully synthesise hydroxytyrosol, eventually developing a novel, HAACP-compliant patented production process with fewer steps.
The firm says the new product boasts a significantly higher purity level, as well as a “defined, high and consistent amount of (the) active ingredient”, while also cutting out all unwanted by-products, contaminants and impurities.
At the same time, instead of a brownish, mouldy-smelling powder, Wacker’s extract is white and odourless.
The company also says this patented synthesis of hydroxytyrosol ensures supply security regardless of weather or climate conditions, and thanks to the commercially available raw materials used, the compound can be produced on a large scale.
Currently, the available formats for HTEssence are an odourless, water-soluble powder and liquid. Like CAVACURMIN, it can be used in functional foods and dietary supplements, including capsules, tablets, energy bars and functional beverages.
HTEssence was also tested in a recent human clinical study, which found the product capable of significantly lowering LDL cholesterol levels.