The product, first launched in end March, was developed in response to the heightened demand for immune boosters amid COVID-19 fears.
Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia, founder of Renovatio, Dr Vincent Candrawinata, said that product served to limit inflammation caused by viral infections and to increase cellular resilience in fighting infection.
The product is made from a combination of three key bioactive ingredients, namely the company’s flagship activated phenolics – a proprietary antioxidant formula developed and extracted from Australian farmed apples – as well as quercetin and the extracts of sunflower seed and fibre.
Activated phenolics and quercetin are used as they could help reduce inflammation on a cellular level, according to Dr Candrawinata.
Sunflower seeds and fibre extract on the other hand, are rich in micronutrients such as amino acids, zinc, vitamin D, E, and selenium.
An advocate of natural products, he said that the activated phenolics and sunflower compounds were extracted without using chemical solvents.
“This is very important because when people take in the synthetic form, our body’s response is very different towards folic, iron, selenium available in the natural form.
“By extracting these nutrients from a natural source without the addition of any chemicals, we are able to ensure high absorbance and high bioavailability in our body,” he said.
During the extraction process, the company also sought to increase the amount of zinc, selenium, and vitamin D extracted from the sunflower seed.
“We further explored how to combine these elements and add it into our immunity product.
“As you know, there is no medication for the novel coronavirus and the thing that we can do is to make sure our body’s immune response is strong enough to fight the infection.”
Ramping up productions
The immune product was initially launched with a limited release of 200 units on retail and online in Australia. The company has since increased production.
“Our initial run was only 200 because we wanted to put it out there as soon as possible. And so, at the start, we actually had to limit our customers to buying a maximum of three units in one transaction, but now we have lifted this limit,” Dr Candrawinata said.
Although the product development took about a month, he stressed that the launch was not done in haste.
“We are kind of lucky because we are a technology company, we just have to fine tune some extraction process to deliver the components that we deliver in the new immunity product. We did not start from zero.”
The company will be distributing the new immune health product to markets outside of Australia, including the UK and is already doing so in Taiwan.
“We really want to help our base customers in these places because those are the areas that are badly affected with the coronavirus.
“This is the moment when people like me, scientists, researchers, doctors, nurses, health practitioners, have to use what we know and our tools to help people,” Dr Candrawinata said.
In addition, the company has tripled the production for its activated phenolics powder, due to increased consumer demand largely out of COVID-19 fears.
He said that its activated phenolics powder were sold out in China, Taiwan by the end of January, while in Malaysia and Singapore, the tablet form was more popular.
Worldwide, the company’s products are exported to over 10 countries and are available in health foods stores such as Mr Vitamins.
Meeting specific needs
The company started off by launching general wellness products, namely its antioxidant-rich apple-based supplement Activated Phenolics Powder and An Apple a Day.
It is now placing more focus develop on products that cater to specific health needs.
This include the new immunity product and three other supplements launched earlier in February.
They are the hair, skin, and nail vegan collagen formula, prebiotic for gut and digestion, and vegan protein for pre-workout and post-workout muscle recovery.
All the new products also contain the company’s key activated phenolics, while sunflower is also present in all the three products. It is touted as the protein source in the vegan collagen and protein products, and for providing fibre in the gut and digestion product.
“Sometimes, people who need fibre the most, are people with a sensitive digestive tract. While psyllium husk is a very good fibre, sometimes people actually get inflammation because they are taking fibre that don’t agree with their body.
“Sunflower seed fibres are very gentle because they contain both soluble and insoluble fibre and when taken with water, it not only helps increase the bulk of the fibre, it also helps to reduce inflammation in the intestinal lining.
“Combined with our activated phenolics, it works well for people with GERD or acid reflux,” Dr Candrawinata said.