WATCH — NutraIngredients-Asia Awards: Meet our first NutraChampion winner

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

Inger Reidun F. Aukrust, PhD, a leading expert in vitamin K and vice president of R&D chemistry at Kappa Bioscience, has been crowned our first NutraChampion.

The inaugural event took place in Singapore ahead of last week's Vitafood's Asia show.

Kappa is the producer of K2VITALR vitamin K2 MK-7. Inger Reidun led the first commercial synthesis of K2 MK-7, a MK-7 microencapsulation process, developed multiple analytical methods, and has 14 patents/applications.

She said: "In 2006 the K2 MK-7 market practically was non-existent. There was some supplementation with K2 MK-4, but studies show that the MK-7 molecule is the best and most effective for enzyme activation.

"The little MK-7 that was available was very expensive. The high cost was due inefficient synthesis. "As an organic chemist I saw vitamin K2 as an interesting and challenging molecule."

"We thought that the synthesis could be improved, So we founded Kappa Bioscience to develop a commercially viable synthesis method for the MK-7 molecule. We achieved this in 2009, and by 2011 we scaled up the process, developed an extensive documentation package, improve costs and  creating an MK-7 ingredient for use in supplement products."

Both Kappa and the K2 market have grown significantly since then.  

Inger Reidun added: "The synthesis was only the start. Fast growth created challenges and opportunities that had to be solved very quickly compared to ingredients with a longer history. 

"We needed to develop the analytical methods that define quality, and work with regulatory bodies like USP and independent labs to ensure consumer protection and that products delivered the K2 quality specified. 

"For example, six years ago we discovered that K2 is not stable in formulation with minerals like calcium or magnesium. So we developed a microencapsulated MK-7 which expanded K2 opportunities in the bone and heart health categories. Kappa has also worked hard to educate markets on K2 stability, and we’ve seen a big shift in awareness recently.

"In sum, a vibrant, healthy K2 MK-7 market has developed from being virtually non-existent to a very large marked only in a decade. This has been a very exciting and satisfying work, solving the many challenges of vitamin K2."

Take a look at the video for more.

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