While the head office sits in the US, the firm farms its own sea buckthorn on the Tibetan plateau, alongside a factory in the region to take care of the extraction and manufacturing processes.
Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia at Vitafoods Asia, where the firm was exhibiting for the first time, Dr Tina Yuen, international business development manager said that sea buckthorn, with its antioxidant and hydrating benefits, fitted well with the consumer trends seen in Asia.
Its trademark ingredients, CyanthOx and Omegia, which provide antioxidant and omegas benefits will be the key focus.
“Beauty and women's nutrition, they are trendy in the market right now.
“However, if you look at menopausal or women's nutrition, other than beauty, you wouldn't find much. For alleviating menopause symptoms, it would be products for calming, addressing hot flushes, and that's pretty much it. No one really look at the cause of these symptoms.
"Half of the world is women and we are all approaching that part (menopause), so this is something that should be looked into,” Yuen said.
While the firm has a bigger presence in the US and Europe, Yuen said that the firm has saw “a lot of potential in Asia.”
“Especially in Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, these countries are all very much looking into women's health applications.”
Stem cell stimulation
The firm has developed a patented CO2 technology which is able to extract bioactive nutrients from sea buckthorn, in turn providing benefits such as stem cell stimulation.
The bioactive nutrients in sea buckthorn can be categorised into three main groups, namely omegas, vitamins, and antioxidants.
The firm’s main objective is to extract each of these nutrients and turn them into multiple products.
“Sea berry has 190 bioactive nutrients.So it is our aim to promote different nutrients for different users. For these 190 nutrients, the technology can extract each one of them, so even though they are from the same plant, we are able to turn it into multiple products,” Yuen said.
In the case of the trademark ingredient CyanthOx, the firm used a patented technology to extract polyphenols, proanthocyanidins, and bioflavonoids from the sea buckthorn.
The extracted ingredient was also more potent than other sources in terms of antioxidant capability based on the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) comparison.
When compared to grape seed extract, the ingredient is nine times stronger and 1.7 times stronger than French pine bark extract.
According to a 2019 study conducted on CyanthOx, the ingredient was able to stimulate three different types of stem cells, in turn, providing anti-aging and anti-inflammatory effects.
This is also the first time that a trial had been conducted on the firm’s product.
Omegas for menopause
Besides antioxidant, the firm is also using sea buckthorn’s omegas components to alleviate menopausal symptoms.
For example, its formulation of Omegia is a balanced ratio of omega-3-6-7-9.
“Omega-3 is for anti-inflammation and omega-7 is also anti-inflammatory using another pathway different from omega-3. As such, it is a great idea to add omega-3 and omega-7,” Yuen said.
She explained that the lesser known omega-7 was a source of hydration by regenerating the mucous membrane in different parts of the body, including eyes, nose, and vagina.
“It also does lipid profile modulation, lower cholesterol levels, helps with insulin sensitivity and lowers body inflammation,” she added.
To facilitate the ease of consumption, the firm has developed techniques to incorporate its trademark ingredients into different dosage formats.
These formats include beverages, soft gel capsules, liquid capsules, sachet, powder, tablet, gummy, and even bakery products, Yuen said.
“Application does not limit us, because it is our aim to develop a wide range of applications.”